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Fast Fact: Earthworms

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

Earthworms don’t have any arms or legs, but they sure can move. To get around underground, they rely on muscles in the walls of their bodies. The muscles lengthen and shorten, creating wavelike motions to help them move through the soil — or aboveground.

(Photo via Shutterstock)

There are more than 2,700 kinds of earthworms in the world, and some get very big. The giant Gippsland earthworm, which lives in Australia, can grow to 12 feet long and weigh up to 1½ pounds. The largest earthworm ever recorded was a worm in South Africa that was 22 feet long!

There are a lot of earthworms right under our feet. One acre of land can be home to as many as 1 million earthworms. All those worms do important work. Although they are not necessary for a healthy soil environment, their presence is a sign of a healthy soil habitat.


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