Scientists Found a Real-Life Sarlacc Pit on a Prehistoric Worm

Monday, 26 September 2016 - 6:16PM
Weird Science
Monday, 26 September 2016 - 6:16PM
Main Image GIF Science
The Sarlacc is an infamous creature in Star Wars folklore, not least because it caused the (apparent) demise of fan favorite character, Boba Fett. Now, scientists have found a real-life version, in the form of a prehistoric worm, which has the creature's signature gaping mouth lined with several rows of teeth.

For years, scientists have debated whether the 520 million-year-old fossilized mouth belonged to the Anomalocaris, the largest sea-bound predator from the Cambrian Period, or the penis worm, another type of marine worms that was common in that era. Now, they've confirmed that it belongs to a different kind of worm altogether, called the Pambdelurion, which was likely related to the penis worm by a common ancestor. But, more importantly:

Opening quote
"The mouth is a spitting image of the Sarlacc from Star Wars," Dr. Jakob Vinther of Bristol University said in a press release.
Closing quote



Sarlacc Pit

[Credit: Robert Nicholls, Palaeocreations]


The discovery of this creature adds yet another entry in the list of huge sea worms from the Cambrian era that would haunt our nightmares if they existed now:

Opening quote
"It seems as if nowhere was safe back in the Cambrian," said co-author Fletcher Young, a former Bristol University masters student. "No matter whether you lived in the water column or on the seafloor there was a big, ugly beast that would devour you."
Closing quote
Science
Science of Sci-Fi
Weird Science