Is this the real-life Dune sandworm? Blood-sucking ‘vampire’ creature with mouth full of swirling teeth is found on a beach in Devon

Is this the real-life Dune sandworm? Blood-sucking 'vampire' creature with mouth full of swirling teeth is found on a beach in Devon

Is this the real-life Dune sandworm? Blood-sucking ‘vampire’ creature with mouth full of swirling teeth is found on a beach in Devon

It looks like the monstrous sandworms depicted in Dune, but this blood-sucking ‘vampire fish’ and its mouth full of swirling teeth are all too real.



Will Miles, 26, encountered the bizarre creature on the beach near Exmouth Marina in Devon while taking a post-work stroll last week.

He said: ‘It was very noticeable, lying in the centre part of the beach near the tideline – I was on a walk after work.

‘It was like a hugely oversized leech with a sucker full of sharp, inward-pointing teeth.’

The creature is a sea lamprey – a species known for sucking the blood of their prey; hence the ‘vampire fish’ nickname.

Once widespread in the UK, they’re now rare, with their decline blamed on low water quality and man-made barriers in the rivers where they breed.

Mr Miles, a warehouse worker from Bovey Tracey, estimated it was about 80cm long – just short of the height of an average two-year-old.

‘I was very surprised,’ he said.

‘I’d never seen one washed up before and expected I never would.’

Keen to share his strange discovery, Will posted a photo on a Facebook page for naturalists.

And though some correctly identified the elusive species, others thought it looked like something out of the blockbuster Dune films, based on Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novels.

The creature is a sea lamprey – a species known for sucking the blood of their prey; hence the 'vampire fish' nickname

 

Once widespread in the UK, they're now rare, with their decline blamed on low water quality and man-made barriers in the rivers where they breed

‘Looks like the sandworm from Dune,’ wrote one person.

‘So that’s where Frank Herbert got his sandworms from,’ added another.

‘Only just seen the film and that’s where my head went straight away,’ replied a third.

One person, referring to the fictional world where the series is set, asked: ‘Is this on Arrakis?’

While others called the creature ‘Shai-Hulud’ – using the name given to the sandworms by the indigenous people of Arrakis, the Fremen.

One joker asked: ‘Any spice around? I could do with some interstellar travel coming up to the elections.’

For others, the creature was more horror than sci-fi.

 

Mr Miles, a warehouse worker from Bovey Tracey, estimated it was about 80cm long – just short of the height of an average two-year-old

'Looks like the sandworm from Dune,' wrote one person. 'So that's where Frank Herbert got his sandworms from,' added another

One comment read: ‘When I say I love the ocean, I really mean I love the surface. What goes on underneath is terrifying, and none of my business.’

‘I’m never swimming in the sea again,’ said another.

It was also described as a ‘fish of nightmares’ and a ‘terrifying looking creature’.

Marine biologist Jarco Havermans, who made headlines last year when he became the first person in six years to find a sea lamprey on the Dutch island of Texel, described their life cycles.

He said: ‘For five years they live embedded in the bottom where they filter-feed detritus.

‘After these five years they metamorphose into an adult sea lamprey which migrates to sea to live as a parasitic fish species on larger fish species and whales.’

The lamprey’s victim does not usually survive the encounter.

‘For reproduction they migrate back to the rivers,’ he added.

Source: daily mail

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Is this the real-life Dune sandworm? Blood-sucking ‘vampire’ creature with mouth full of swirling teeth is found on a beach in Devon

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