A nine-year-old boy has made international headlines after he discovered a giant earthworm in his backyard.
Barnaby Domigan, from Burnside, Christchurch, was playing in his family’s garden after school last week when he found the worm at a stream at the bottom of the property.
His dad Chris snapped a photo of his son holding the huge creature with a stick, which mum Jo shared on Facebook with the caption: “GUYS! This is an ACTUAL WORM Barnaby found in OUR backyard today!!!! Is this newsworthy!?! I think it’s newsworthy.”
The post attracted hundreds of likes, comments and shares and soon caught the attention of the local and global media alike.
“I grabbed it with a stick. I thought wow, what an amazing discovery. I thought it was a worm, but I had no idea what it really was,” Barnaby told Stuff, adding that he “thought it was massive, and amazing, and a little bit disgusting”.
The family estimates the creature was around one metre long.
“It was ginormous. He was most impressed with himself,” Ms Domigan told the publication, jokingly describing the worm as the “stuff of nightmares”.
“What a find, he thought it was wonderful,” she said.
Barnaby told Radio New Zealand’s Checkpoint program the worm was “slimy and squishy and stuff like that”, and that he had named his new friend “Dead Fred”.
“I tried to convince my dad to keep it in a plastic bag, but he wasn’t really in on that idea,” he said.
“I think it’s because adults don’t really enjoy giant worms in their houses. If I was an adult, I would agree.
“I thought of it as like an amazing discovery and I could not believe my eyes.”
Originally published as ‘Stuff of nightmares’: Boy’s incredible find in New Zealand backyard
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