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Facts about worms

Worms are frequently used to teach children about the earth or kept in soil to help plants grow. In these photos, New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio and First Lady Michelle Obama check up on some worms!
Worms are frequently used to teach children about the earth or kept in soil to help plants grow. In these photos, New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio and First Lady Michelle Obama check up on some worms!
Photo by Pool/Getty Images

Worms are legless, ground-dwelling, soft-bodied insects that live in soil. Worms come in a variety of colors and sizes but their basic line-like shape remains largely the same throughout the spectrum of the species. Worms are absolutely essential to the ecosystem. They do a lot to keep the plants that grow in soil healthy and so the presence of worms is very important to gardeners. Worms are also an excellent source of food to many species of birds; most people have probably seen a robin digging a worm out of the ground at least once! Worms are also frequently used by human beings as bait on fishing lines intended to hook fish. In certain parts of China and New Zealand people eat worms too!

Worms on display in a jar.
Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Below are some facts about worms:

• Worms have no eyes, legs, or arms. Interestingly, although they have no eyes, worms can sense light and will typically move away from it.

• There are over 2,700 different kinds of earthworms in the world.

• One acre of land might contain over one million worms!

• In South Africa a 22 foot long earthworm was found! Some of these very large worms can live to be 50 years old although most worms have a lifecycle of about 15 years.

• Worms breathe through their skin and they come to the earth’s surface when it rains because they need oxygen to breathe. They would drown if they stayed in the soil.