The thing

“The thing” is the name given by locals of an unknown species of gigantic polychaete worm off the Anse Jambon Bay on the west coast of St. Lucia. They are solitary animals, 7 to 15 feet in length and as thick as a man’s arm. If "the thing" was a confirmed species, it would be five feet longer than the currently known largest polychaete worm, Eunice aphroditois, or the Bobbitt worm."


The thing" are maroon in colour, have hundreds of leg-like structures called “cirri” and are covered in dozens of tiny fluorescent spots on their body. They lack a head, as it simply terminates into five tentacles, sometimes described as “tusks.” They are solitary animals, only being found in the deeper parts of reefs and come out on dark, cloudy nights. They are also extremely sensitive to light, making them difficult to be photographed. Sometimes they are preyed on by moray eels. 


It is unclear when locals became aware of "the thing," but in the late '80s, it became known amongst regular vacationers in the area. There were multiple eyewitness reports and a single blurry image until 2007 when marine wildlife photographer Walt Sterns managed to capture four images of "the thing." For whatever reason, "the thing" did not attempt to escape or hide. 


Sterns sent the images to some marine biologists, and none could identify the animal, but was obviously some kind of very large polychaete worm. Despite multiple clear photos of a species unlike any known in an easy to access area, there have been no scientific searches, as “the thing” is unfortunately dismissed as a mythical or fictitious creature.

Credit to Walt Sterns

Credit to Walt Sterns

Credit to Walt Sterns

Credit to Walt Sterns

Credit to Walt Sterns

Credit to Walt Sterns

Credit to Walt Sterns

Credit to Walt Sterns