Here be sea monsters?

February 19, 2019—That shark is the least of their worries. Just below the sea’s surface lies a terrible force that can destroy entire navies—or cause countries to slide into the sea.

The shipworm is back in the news. In 2017, scientists described the feeding habits of the giant shipworm for the first time. Now comes news of a newly discovered species. Yes, they’re ugly and destructive, but biologists think they may hold the key to unlocking new, bacteria-fighting medicines. Can we humans learn to love the shipworm?

Image: Abraham Zeeman, Pileworms gnawing at the Dutch dykes, (1731–3). Courtesy Rijksmuseum.