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A New Underground Monster


ARECENT communication from Fritz Müller, of Itajahy, in Southern Brazil, to the Zoologische Garten contains a wonderful account of the supposed existence of a gigantic earthworm in the highlands of the southern provinces of Brazil, where it is known as the “Minhocao”. The stories told of this supposed animal, says Fritz Müller, sound for the most part so incredible, that one is tempted to consider them as fabulous. Who could repress a smile at hearing men speak of a worm some fifty yards in length, and five in breadth, covered with bones as with a coat of armour, uprooting mighty pine trees as if they were blades of grass, diverting the courses of streams into fresh channels, and turning dry land Into a bottomless morass? And yet after carefully considering the different accounts given of the “Minhocao,” one can hardly refuse to believe that some such animal does really exist, although not quite so large as the country folk would have us to believe.

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A New Underground Monster . Nature 17, 325–326 (1878).

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