North Carolina "sewer monster" is not a new Chris Cunningham video

I first encountered the video embedded above last week, but shrugged it off as (a) someone's colonoscopy home movie repurposed for internet lulz, (b) stealth marketing campaign for a Cloverfield sequel, or (c) a portrait of Sarah Palin's soul. As usual, I was wrong.

Snipped from i09's post with the delightful title, "Public Utilities Group Confirms "Sewer Monster" Is Real, But Doesn't Know What It Is" --

[The] city of Raleigh, North Carolina, is responding as the viral video of a seething blob in the city sewers made its way across the internet yesterday. Marti Gibson is the Environmental/EMS Coordinator for Public Utilities in the city of Raleigh, North Carolina, and she has been as confused as the rest of us. When she first looked at the video, she emailed our anonymous source to say it was a slime mold that was in the phase of its lifecycle where it looks like a throbbing, breathing animal (see io9's report on slime molds from a few weeks ago where we talked about this exact thing).

She assured our tipster that any water passing by this slime would pass through a treatment plant and be thoroughly cleansed. But then, a few hours later, Gibson retracted her statement in an email...

Click for the rest of the story, including pictures that will probably make you hurl.


(HT: Doug Lussenhop)


  1. this video is fake, i did some research last week and this is what i came up with.
    According to the video, the footage came from

    a quick whois reveals the address for the person who owns the domain, and using that address to search for what is at that location, it’s an ad company.


  2. NOT a wonderful thing. Yes I’m complaining about the free mass of writhing worm or whatever the fuck it is. Does not resemble ice cream AT ALL.

    A comment at YouTube suggest they could be Tubifex Worms.

    “They can also survive in areas so heavily polluted with organic matter that almost no other species can endure. By forming a protective cyst and lowering its metabolic rate, T. tubifex can survive drought and food shortage. Encystment may also function in the dispersal of the worm.”

    In other words, they’ll out live us.

  3. @4 why are people so upset about animal species that will outlive us?
    As a species we’re no longer well-adapted for survival of harsh conditions. We’ve had so many selection pressures removed for so long that we’re generally unable to fend for ourselves.

  4. This would be THE perfect teaser video for that long-lost System Shock 2 sequel we’re all hoping for. But it’s not :(

    Oh, and also – unicorn, now, please?? :P

  5. Dudes, this is why you need to ensure a healthy population of alligators in your sewers.

    It’s just nature’s way of balancing that poo-tube ecosystem.

  6. AAAARGH. what? no unicorn chaser? you guys are resting on yr laurels.

  7. “why are people so upset about animal species that will outlive us?
    As a species we’re no longer well-adapted for survival of harsh conditions. We’ve had so many selection pressures removed for so long that we’re generally unable to fend for ourselves.”

    We’re very well adapted to culture, language, and tool use, which have both proven to be extremely effective for surviving all sorts of conditions. So much so that we are the cause of a sudden (on a geological scale) global mass extincion event, and possibly the spreading of life to other worlds, and an entirely new form of the development of life (literally, self-directed “intellient design”). We live in extremely interesting times, so to speak, and what sorts of things come out the other end is anyone’s guess.

    So, writhing mass of poop worms? As good a contender as any, I guess, but we’re not playing fair anymore.

  8. I, for one, choose to believe that these are the giant throbbing hearts of some ghastly creature overlord. Doomed, we are.

  9. I’m patiently waiting for a crafty DIYer to make a felt pillow version of this…

  10. Waaay back in 1977, I worked for a contractor who did sewer flow monitoring, and we had a contract in Winston Salem, North Carolina. The contract was ultimately supported by federal grants from the EPA, to find sources of ground water flowing into the sewers.

    The sewers were full of this stuff, especially downstream of one the huge cigarette factories, where they were also pouring large amounts of very hot (temperature) waste into the system. When we asked the city about it we were basically told to STFU, and given a lecture about how that company had built the city.

    We called the goo “apple jelly”, and if you had to go into a manhole where it was, you came out looking like a sliming in “Ghostbusters”.

  11. Well, if this IS a viral ad for a new movie/videogame/breath mint, the vid makers are taking their sweet time in doing a followup. Which is what is making this one very delicious, at least for those of us who got sucked in by the Cloverfield madness.

    Take your time. Make this last. Keep us guessing. You want $25 for tickets to your new movie? Ok…

  12. I’m surprised anyone can sit on a toilet in the city after seeing that.

    Just wait until they “migrate” through the pipes of some major office building seeking warm, human, blood.

  13. Wow, Tubifex.

    When I was a kid, we used to buy tubifex to feed our tropical fish. The fish shops actually sold feeders: little plastic containers that attached to the side of the tank with a suction cup, and had tiny holes that the worms could wriggle through. You’d dump a squirmy mass of tiny pink worms into the feeder, they’d squeeze out of the holes one by one, and the fish would eat them. Nom nom nom.

    I have a distant memory that they became increasingly harder to buy, apparently because the Thames was becoming progressively less polluted.

    I can report that when seen as a small lump of wiggly pink worms they are significantly less horrifying than when they take the form of a giant pulsating shit-colored Blob on the wall of a sewer.

  14. I just ate sushi from a grocery store in Cameron Village directly above this horror…am I going to die?

  15. You know, of all the things that could be in a sewer, a blob of non-parasitic earthworm-cousins are probably one of the least disgusting. If you have to smell as well as see, actual sewage is probably much worse.

  16. If you look closer, you will notice worms making their way through that organic net, but really, I never saw anything like that before. It seems to be some kind of a worm house-tunnel system, that looks like it was made of flash. Very Bizzar

Comments are closed.