As I've noted before, Australia is home to some of the world's most uncanny creatures, and seldom a week goes by that I'm not amazed and horrified (in a good way, of course) by some of the bizarre wildlife lurking there. Case in point: our latest real-life monster from Down Under is a lot like the common earthworm, but on mega-mutant steroids.
The giant Gippsland worm (species Megascolides australis), named after the region of Victoria where it's commonly found, is a pinkish-gray monstrosity that averages around three feet in length... but specimens up to ten feet long have been found. Due to its ability to expand and stretch its body at will, it can appear to be even longer. But that's just the beginning of the horror.
Aside from its size, the most unsettling trait of Megascolides is the creepy noise it makes. Since the worms tend to tunnel very deep, they only come close to the surface during heavy rains, and their movements through the mud create a loud gurgling sound that makes them easier to find... if they don't find you first, that is.
Until recently, if you really wanted to get up-close and personal with Australia's mega-worms, you could have visited the Wildlife Wonderland Giant Earthworm Museum near Bass (shown above) and walk through huge simulations of worm tunnels and digestive systems... but according to an update from travel site Atlas Obscura, the museum has been shut down for legal reasons.