Counselor Nicole Finnicum teaches campers about marine worms at Bunche Beach. 

Counselor Nicole Finnicum teaches campers about marine worms at Bunche Beach. 

If there’s one thing Sanibel Sea School campers discovered during Marine Worm Week, it’s that marine worms are very underappreciated. Marine worms make up about 90% of life on the seafloor, and inhabit nearly every ocean habitat, from deep-sea vents to mangrove mud. When you take a walk on Sanibel’s beaches, you’re stepping over hundreds of thousands of these fascinating creatures, but have you ever stopped to take a closer look?

A beautiful flatworm found near Sanibel's Causeway Islands. 

A beautiful flatworm found near Sanibel's Causeway Islands. 

Last week, our campers did just that. We went digging on nearby mud flats and turned over rocks in search of as many worms as we could find. We uncovered bristle worms, polychaete worms, and flatworms, and collected worm casings to build our own mobiles. We even acted like worms while we ran through a marine worm obstacle course.

Campers show off their "worm skills" in a marine worm obstacle course. 

Campers show off their "worm skills" in a marine worm obstacle course. 

Our tribe of worm enthusiasts also met up for a magical moonlit worm walk at Bunche Beach one evening, which was a muddy highlight for many. As usual, we surfed, tied macramé bracelets, and enjoyed a Friday afternoon cookout. What a fabulous week – sometimes we love studying the tiniest creatures most!

Our devoted tribe of marine worm enthusiasts ventured into the mangroves in search of even more fascinating worms. 

Our devoted tribe of marine worm enthusiasts ventured into the mangroves in search of even more fascinating worms. 

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