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Many of us never think about the fact that down below us, beneath the world of light and civilization lurks another world altogether, one of cold, eternal darkness, a stranger to the sun. Down in these black depths of the earth exist vast caverns and caves that most are not even aware of, and there are reports that these are not necessarily devoid of life. Indeed, it seems that there possibly exist strange monsters down in the deep places of the earth, which shuffle about and stalk the never-ending night, even once in a while poking up from their hidden lairs into our world to baffle and terrify.

When talking about underground monsters, something one might wonder is whether there are any sorts of mystery giant worms prowling about out in the wilds under our feet, and the answer is, according to some reports, yes. If you've ever seen the movie Tremors, then you might know what I mean, and there is said to be a cryptid in the remote areas of South America that is very much like this. Called the Minhocão (literally "big earthworm" in Portuguese), this creature is described as an absolutely enormous worm-like beast measuring from 75 feet up to an astounding 150 feet long, which burrows through the earth and feeds on anything it can catch walking above. Some added details are that it has black skin, small eyes, a pair of tentacles on its mouth or head, and an array of large, sharp teeth within its maw. The creature is so massive that it is believed to leave huge trenches in its wake, which sometimes collapse to send houses and other structures tumbling down into the ground, and there are various reports of it sucking animals down into the earth, such as dogs, cats, and even livestock such as cows.

One of the first accounts of the Minhocão appeared in the 1800s in an article in the American Journal of Science, in which naturalist Auguste de Saint-Hilaire brought forth some alarming cases of cattle being pulled into the earth or underwater by some vast worm in the province of Goyaz, often right before the eyes of startled witnesses. In 1877, the German publication Zoologische Garten featured an article by zoologist Fritz Müller, who gave an 1840 account of one of the beasts at Rio dos Papagaios in Paranà State thus:
A black woman going to draw water from a pool near a house one morning ... saw a short distance off an animal which she described as being as large as a house moving off along the ground. ... In the same district a young man saw a huge pine suddenly overturned ... he found the surrounding earth in movement, and an enormous worm-like black animal in the middle of it, about twenty-five meters long, and with two horns on its head.
In addition to numerous instances of strange trenches dug through the ground and anomalous trembling of the earth in conjunction with sightings of giant worms, the article also mentions a 1849 report of a dead Minhocão that was purportedly found stuck in some rocks near Arapehy, Uruguay. The carcass was described as having rough skin like tree bark and scales that those of "an armadillo." In 1870 Müller claimed that there had been a sighting at Lages, Brazil, when a Francisco de Amaral Varella apparently saw a massive, legless creature with a pig-like snout lying on the bank of the Rio das Caveiras. The bizarre creature then proceeded to disappear into the ground while leaving a trench behind. Müller would go out to investigate these claims, and while he did not find the creature he sought he did come across unexplained trenches dug through the earth as if by some large serpentine animal of some kind.

The creature was sporadically sighted in later years as well, although accounts became exceedingly rarer until they dropped off altogether, and reports are nonexistent in more modern times. There have been several theories as to what these creatures could have been. Cryptozoologist Karl Shuker speculated that the Minhocão was perhaps some sort of undiscovered giant caecilian, which are limbless amphibians that look very much like earthworms and which are native to the regions where the cryptid was seen. Famed cryptozoologist Bernard Heuvelmans wrote in his masterpiece On the Track of Unknown Animals that the creature could perhaps be a surviving population of a giant prehistoric armadillo called the glyptodont. Then of course there is the idea that this could be something totally new altogether, but unfortunately there is no way to know, and with the lack of modern sightings there is the possibility that it does not exist anymore, that is if it ever even existed at all.

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