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– [Coyote] Wow, there it is! What? – [Camera Man] I
totally got that. – [Coyote] Isn’t
that crazy looking? – [Camera Man] That’s so gnarly. – [Coyote] Woo, it
did not bite me, but boy did it make me jump. – [Interviewer] Does the
worm feel any different when it does that? – [Coyote] Yeah, I can feel
it’s body, like tense up. Wow there it is! – [Camera Man] Ew. – [Interviewer] What’s it doing? – [Coyote] It’s
puking all over me. Agh, agh gross. – [Camera Man] Uhg it stinks. – [Coyote] Uh, yeah
it does oh man, gross! (tense music) In most areas around the world, when the ocean tides
recede they reveal a hidden coastline that is made up
of shallow intertidal pools. Many of which are filled
with colorful plants and bizarre looking
marine creatures. However, when the
tide pools back from the inlets and estuaries
around Harpswell Maine you’re often left with an
endless expanse of mud flats. These exposed layers are formed when mud is deposited
by the tide. And while they may look
like a barren waste land, they usually support a large
population of wildlife. Today the Great Wilderness Team will be joined in
the field by Anthony, who is a professional
licensed bloodworm digger. For nearly 40 years he has
been raking the mud flats of Maine, and on a good day he can haul in
around 1,000 worms. Alright guys, so we have
multiple cameras going today and as you can see
it is still raining, not to bad right now but
it’s going to be a slightly gritty episode which is perfect. Because today we are
looking for bloodworms, it’s going to be muddy,
it’s going to be grimy, and if we’re lucky
we’re going to find some of these worms
that are then probably going to end up biting
me, isn’t that right? – That’s right. – Okay well we’re going to
leave the big cameras behind and what we have here
is, check this out. This is A bloodworm digging
rake, and as I understand it, you kind of slam that
into the dirt and mud – Yep Yep.
– pull it back. – Well yep, pull it back
flip it over, just… They say it’s all in the wrist. – All in the wrist, okay. Now you’re coming
right, you’re not just going to stand underneath
the edge of the car? – Uhh, I mean I
could stay back here. – [Coyote] No, no, no, no I
can see that you’ve got your water shoes on.
– Yeah. – [Coyote] We’re all
getting muddy today. – We’re all getting in it. – [Coyote] Alright,
you guys ready? – Lets do it.
– Alright, hit it. – [Coyote] Alright, let’s go. Digging in mud flats
is truly a dirty job, and believe it or
not, bloodworming is a huge part of
Maine’s fishing economy as these marine worms
are sold as bait. So whether you are catching
the prized bloodworm or the slightly bigger sandworm, a heavy hall can equate to
a pretty nice pay check. However the good news
for any and all worms we catch today, is that
they will be released, back into the wild. Now it’s just a matter
of getting into the mud, so we can start digging. Well you just let us
know where you think the best spot is
to start digging. – See, no one knows. – No one knows?
– No, one knows. – This is tough, it’s
like you’re walking
on another planet. It’s crazy looking out here, it’s all kind of glassy looking. And this is every
day for you huh? – Yeah, every day, yup. – [Coyote] How you doing, Mario? – I don’t know, it’s
a little intimidating I feel like I’m going
to just sink in. – [Coyote] This is cool. I’ve never walked through
anything like this before. – [Mario] Oh, I fell. – [Coyote] Oh my gosh,
I thought you were used to this stuff being
from the Everglades. – [Mario] Uh, we don’t have
this in the Everglades. – You’re going to want
to wash your hand. – [Mario] Yeah, thanks. – Just wash it in
the water right there just splash it
around, there you go. – [Mario] There you go. – Feel better? – [Mario] Alright
that’s a little better. – [Anthony] Wipe it right here. – Nuh uh.
– I’m serious I’m serious, I go through
this all the time. – [Mario] You’re
good, you’re good. – Okay so guys check this out, Hey Anthony I see there’s some
like a bit of a water way, going through here,
what sort of area are we looking for
to start digging. I mean look at
all, look at this! – [Mario] Is that a worm? – [Coyote] Ar these worm trails? – [Anthony] Nope
that looks like um. – Oh this.
– Yup. – [Mario] Is that a snail? – It’s a snail.
– That is a snail. – [Coyote] Yup so
not worm trails, well I think this
whole area here looks like a good
place to maybe start. – Sure! – Why don’t you show me exactly what the method is for digging. – Ready? – Yeah. Oh wow it just peeled
back like that. There’s a worm!
– Nope nope. – [Coyote] Or is that a stick? Oh, it’s heavy. – [Anthony] See how this rolls? – Wow it just peels
back, it’s like cake. – [Coyote] Oh, oh oh,
I thought I saw one. Oh what’s that? Is that a tape worm? – [Anthony] That’s a tape worm. – [Coyote] That’s a tape worm. – But they go.
– That’s how. – [Mario] Oh my goodness. – That’s not what
we’re looking for. – That’s a tape worm.
– That’s a tape worm. – Don’t get that
in your stomach. Alright we’re going to
toss him back there in mud. – [Mario] Gross. – This is like throwing
five pound weights. Every lump of mud is
about five pounds. That’s five pounds right there. And Anthony is just throwing
globs of mud, effortlessly. Let me tell you
who you don’t want to get into an arm
wrestling competition with, Anthony. He’s got Popeye
forearms, it’s crazy. It’s tough because
you step and you sink, you try to move fast enough
so that your feet don’t sink See like that? – [Mario] You alright? – Winded man, that is tough. That is a lot tougher than
you guys can possibly imagine. The mud is extremely heavy
and as it pulls your legs down into it, you’re trying
to balance with your feet, my toes actually hurt from
trying to keep myself webbed on top of the mud
surface, as you sink down, and there’s no where to rest, it’s not like I could
just lay down in this mud. Well I could but
then the environment would swallow me alive. Woo, I am seating
bullets right now. Okay, lets follow Anthony
we can’t keep up with him. I’m going to try right here. Oh something big! – [Mario] Get it! Is that a sandworm? – Whoa, look at that! That’s a beaster right there. But I don’t know if
it’s a bloodworm, I don’t see its head coming out. Hold on, put it in
the bucket either way. – I got a big one.
– You got a big one! – We’re on them! – We found the sweet
spot, it’s the honey hole. – That’s what I mean. – [Mario] There
you go, let me see. – Yup that’s it.
– Wow! That’s crazy.
– That’s what I dig every day, worms like that. – Look at it’s
proboscis coming out. – Whoa!
– Dude! – Alien isn’t it? You can see Anthony is excited, this means this is a
good worm right here. Wow, look at that, woo! Alright we are getting
closer to the Honey hole. – [Anthony] Yup. – [Coyote] I’m going to put
this beast in the bucket. – [Mario] Show
Anthony what we found. – Oh that’s a sand worm!
– That’s a sand worm? That’s a sand worm,
they bite too. – [Coyote] Wow. Okay, well at least
we found a big one. Woo! – It’s so muddy over here. ♪ Bloodworming, on
the coast of Maine Oh there’s another one! – [Mario] Got one? – Yes! – [Mario] Oh that’s a good one. – Oh it’s a big one! Got one! Singing my bloodworm a song,
brought him up from the mud. Woo, a little muddy but
it finally paid off, I have slung probably
150 globs of mud, and I finally, woah
don’t drop him, finally found my first
keepable bloodworm. I’ll put it into the bucket. – [Mario] Nice. We got it.
– Okay. – Alright
– We’ve got bloodworms, we have a sandworm,
at this point I say we head back to a
controlled situation and get these worms up
close for the cameras. Woo, this was awesome, aw
man I’m stuck to the mud. – [Mario] Nice. – Alright guys so
we’re back at base camp and what I have here
are two buckets. One that is filled with worms, and another that just
has some salt water. What I’m going to have to do, is dig through all
this gloppy mud that’s filled with blood worms, rinse them off and
then place them into this clear container, so
that we can actually see them. See look in there. Oh there’s the big,
there’s one of my big ones. Okay. – [Interviewer] Is this
salt water right here? – Yes it is, this is a
marine species of worm, which means that they
live in salt water. If I were to actually
put these worms in fresh water, it
would kill them. So we do need to be
rather gentle with them, whoa, there’s a big
one right there. Oh that is, that’s
one of the big, look at this. That’s one of the
big ones right there. – Oh yeah.
– Oh boy yeah that could give
you a good bite. Alright get in there buddy. Okay, I’m going to move
this bucket off of here. Get rid of the water bucket. And now we’re going to get
up close with these worms. Now we do have, a pretty
decent size ragworm here. Anthony also called these,
sand worms, see that? – Crazy looking.
– Right? Look at the iridescence
to it’s skin, and you can see if
you zoom in there, all these little
legs on the side, those are called parapodia, and that actually helps
these marine worms, not only swim but also burrow. And this also will
get extremely long, but that’s about its most
shrunken up state right there. Alright, I’m going to
go ahead an put this one back into the mud bucket. Crazy. – [Mario] Who we got next. – Man, the moment
we’ve been waiting for, the bloodworm, which is exactly what we were going
out after today. I wasn’t even aware
that we would find other marine worm species and, we got a whole
container full of them. Now I’m just going to dump
the whole thing in my hand, – [Mario] Okay. – [Coyote] Just so we can
see what that looks like. Ugh, now, they really look
a lot like earth worms. – [Interviewer] Do
they smell or anything? – They smell like mud. They absolutely smell like mud. And like most worms, they’ll
kinda just stay completely, limp in your hand
like that, and, oh, I can feel them moving. – [Mario] They don’t seem to
move as fast as the earth worm. – No, alright I’m going
to kinda just single out the biggest ones. Now you may be
wondering to yourselves, oh that ones putting
out its mouth. Oh that is a rather big one. Okay, there are one,
two, three, four, five, really good sized
bloodworms, but I think the biggest are these two
right here in the middle. So we’re going to
pair this down. I’m trying to let them get
comfortable and expand out. I also want to see if
there’s one going to perform for us, with what we’re
all waiting to see, which is that weird
alien looking head, that they shoot out of
the front of their face. – [Mario] I think
that one, that one. – [Coyote] This one right there. – [Mario] That one seems
to be the most lively. – Yeah that one also seems to
be the largest in diameter. Alright, we’re going
to put these back. Now one thing that I
must note up front. I’m not going to
intentionally try to be bitten by this worm, but this is
one of the only venomous worm species in the world. There, right there,
you see that. You see the head come out? They have a proboscis
that they shoot out of the front of their
head, which has four fangs. Those fangs are made of copper. And they’re like this right,
it’s like a grappling hook. – [Mario] Hold up,
hold up, like metal? – Like metal, like the
element copper, and those… – [Interviewer] So
it has metal teeth? – [Coyote] It has metal teeth. – [Interviewer]
Like a bond villain? – Like a bond villain,
you got it, yes. This is like one of the
most bizarre creatures, I didn’t even know
these things existed, until we go here to
Maine and someone said, you want to go looking
for bloodworms? And sure enough this
is that creature. Now this worm is a predator
and when they’re out hunting, they’ll kind of
slink though the mud, and they’re searching
for crustaceans or small invertebrates. And they shoot this
grappling hook type head out of their proboscis,
four fangs dig in, and then with those
fangs they inject venom, that venom paralyzes
and sometimes even stops the
heart of its victim, and then they sit there, (slurping) and slurp up the
innards like a slushie. Now okay, this is really cool, see how it’s completely
slinked out like this notice that coloration,
see how purple that is? – [Mario] Yeah. – It’s all peach colored
here and purple here, that’s why they’re
called bloodworms because their insides
are actually dark red, and the skin is semi translucent and you can see that
coloration right through there. Wow that’s cool. – [Mario] You can see,
like, little bubbles running through the body.
– Yeah isn’t that wild. – Look down the side
of its body there, you see how it looks like
those spikes coming off? – It’s like hairs.
– Yup. – Those are parapodia,
they’re like little feet, that help this
creature to burrow and also to keep its balance
if it’s in deep water. Alright we gotta get that
proboscis to come out. Let me see here,
I’m going to just, lay the worm out in my
hand here like this. You can see look, it’s
kind of curling around, probably protecting itself. Can you see that little,
nodule up front there. – [Interviewer] What is that? – [Coyote] That’s a sensory
organ, it’s a little tentacle, and that’s how this creature
explores its environment. It can sense
chemicals in the water with that little
front appendage. Look at up here, you see all
that purpleish coloration? – [Mario] Oh yeah. – [Coyote] It has a lateral line that runs down the
length of his body, see that real
distinct purple line? That’s how you can easily
identify this as a bloodworm. Ah, oh! Oh it went for my
thumb did you see that? – [Mario] Totally got that. – Woo it did not bite me
but boy did it make me jump. – [Mario] Wow, it
shoots out really fast. – [Coyote] Woah, there it is. What! – Isn’t that crazy looking.
– It’s so gnarly. – [Coyote] I think this ones
fangs are just to small, like it’s coming all
the way out, I see them, I mean the fangs
are pretty tiny, so I don’t think I’m going
to get bitten by this thing. – [Interviewer] Ugh,
what’s it doing. – [Coyote] It’s
puking all over me. Agh, agh gross. – [Mario] Ugh, it stinks. – [Coyote] Does it? – [Mario] Yeah. – [Coyote] Oh yeah it
does, oh man gross! Oh, disgusting, oh my gosh
did you film all that? – [Mario] I got all of it. – [Interviewer]
Everything poops on you. – Oh my gosh, even
bloodworms poop on me. Look how long its body is when
it’s slinked out like that. And just like an earth worm,
if this marine creature is cut on area above, pretty
much this line right here, it can regrow parts of its body. Look a that, you can
actually see the colors going through its body, woah! Just try to bite me there? – [Mario] I think it
was thinking about it. Show me your proboscis. – Ow!
– [Mario] Oh! – Yi!
– Did it bite you? – [Coyote] He got me! (laughing) – [Mario] I got that. – He got me, I felt it,
it was a little pinch. – [Mario] Let me see,
where’d he get you. – [Coyote] Right there, right
in the crux of my finger. It was like a little
pin prick, ah. (laughing) – [Mario] Does it hurt?
– Yeah a little but, a little bit, it kind
of itches actually. Yeah did you see that,
you think you got that? – [Mario] Oh I know I got it. – Oh man. It just kind of whipped
around and nailed me. Well okay, I was successfully
bitten by the blood worm. Definitely not as
bad as a bee sting, although, you know, it
was significantly bigger it may have hurt more but ah, it kind of itches a little bit. – [Interviewer] Like a
little mosquito bite? – Yeah it kind of, like, it
startled me more than anything but I can definitely feel it. Haha, my hearts racing. (laughing) I even saw you guys jump back. – [Mario] You’re not
touching the uh… – No, no, no, I mean
it really didn’t hurt, but it was a prick it
definitely shot me backward. That was funny. – Hey Coyote?
– Yeah? – [Mario] You alright? – I’m alright man, yeah. (laughing) – Well it was definitely
one every wet, very muddy afternoon, but
we finally came across, a whole bunch of bloodworms. I’m Coyote Peterson, be brave, stay wild, we’ll see you
on the next adventure. Ready to put them
back out in the ocean? – [Mario] Let’s do it. – You sure you don’t
want to get bitten? – Eh, I’m good
– Okay. (laughing) – At the start of this
episode I honestly had no idea what to expect, when
it came to digging in the mud for worms. But here’s what I learned. First, it’s
incredibly difficult, not only to walk
across the mud flats, but also to dig in
the heavy wet mud. Second, it’s muddy, in case
that wasn’t completely obvious. And third, it’s
actually a lot of fun. Like looking for a
needle in a hay stack, or in this case a
bloodworm in a mud flat. There we go, that’s a pretty
good sized one right there. – Nice. – I’d say about as big
as we’ve found today. Alright guys, time to let the
bloodworms and the sandworm, back off into the ocean. Now you can release these
creatures, absolutely anywhere, they live up and down the coast, so this isn’t exactly
where I found them, but it doesn’t matter because they are constantly on the
move, they are nomadic. Always searching for
something new to eat. Maine’s bloodworm industry
continues to flourish, and it’s responsible,
conservation conscious diggers like Anthony, who are helping
to keep the population of these bizarre
looking animals growing. By only taking
market sized worms, and returning the females
and juveniles to the flats, his harvesting
methods will ensure a bountiful population
for generations to come. If you thought digging for
bloodworms was a muddy mess, make sure to go back
and watch the episode where I got covered
in mud diving to catch a smokey jungle frog,
man, look at all that mud. And don’t forget, subscribe! So you can join me and the
crew in our next big adventure.


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