Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Ice Worms

By Sandy Doughton at the Seattle Times

Ben Lee is stalking a creature most people think is a myth —
if they've heard of it at all.

"I don't know what we'll see," he warned,
loading an ice ax and snow shovel into his backpack. "Nobody knows what ice
worms do in winter."

Thriving in conditions that would turn most living
things to Popsicles, these inch-long earthworm cousins inhabit glaciers and
snowfields in the coastal ranges of Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and
Oregon. They move through seemingly solid ice with ease and are at their
liveliest near the freezing point of water. Warm them up slightly and they
dissolve into goo.

Learn more about Ice Worms here in the Seattle Times.