This Worm Fucks Itself In The Head

I mostly do love all creatures of the earth but I’ve never really felt a warmth towards worms – perhaps it’s a lack of knowledge about them or maybe I’ve grown immune to their destruction after spending many childhood afternoons digging them up in the garden and hurtling them towards the closest sibling.

This Worm Fucks Itself In The Head

Though, after learning about scientists discover of a hermaphrodite worm that literally fucks itself in the head to reproduce – my interest was peaked.

The flatworm (clever name: Macrostomum hystrix), resorts to self-insemination when it’s unable to find a mate (I know your pain worm, know your pain). This clever reproductive strategy is made possible through the fact they have both male and female organs and though it does produce ‘inbred’ offsprings, researchers suggest it’s still better than not being able to reproduce at all.

The regular way these flatworms reproduce is to exchange sperm with others using their stylet – a sharp, needle-like protrusion (ouch) – to penetrate the outer-body membrane of their partner in what’s called a ‘traumatic insemination’.

Researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland and Bielefeld University in Germany studied the bizarre hypodermic insemination in transparent flatworms. They were split into two groups, one as isolated individuals and the other in small groups and isolated flatworms were found to have more sperm in their head and the interesting placement of sperm suggests a self-insemination route.

This may well be the first known case of hermaphrodites being able to use their needle-like penis to inject sperm into their own heads. Cracking work worms.