The giant shipworm, Kuphus polythalamia, is not new to science. As Ben Guarino at The Washington Post reports, even Carl Linnaeus, the father of taxonomy, was aware of this three-foot-long bivalve back in the 1700s. But no one had actually seen it still alive. Researchers studied the creature from fragments of its casing and the mushy dead bivalve bodies that had washed ashore.“It’s sort of the unicorn of mollusks,” Margo Haygood, marine microbiologist at the University of Utah tells Guarino.But a television station in the Philippines recently discovered the disgusting unicorn, while making a short documentary about strange shellfish growing in a lagoon. A researcher in the Philippines saw the film and sent a message to Haygood, and she helped organize an international team to track down the mollusks, according to a press release. They found the elusive creatures barely peeking out of the mud of a stinky lagoon full of rotting wood positoned in rows like planted carrots.

Source: After Centuries of Searching, Scientists Finally Find the Mysterious Giant Shipworm Alive | Smart News | Smithsonian