Scientists discover worms from hell

By Samuel Mwangi Njogu, 25 June 2011


Courtesy of Lisa M. Pratt, The Trustees of Indiana University NASA National Science Foundation – Scientist Tullis Onstott of Princeton University opens a borehole in a section of rock wall in a South African mine near where “radiation eating microbes” were found- photo source:

Scientists have discovered strange worms in Deep South African gold mines that could be the ones found in hell.

The bible indicates that hell is located under the ground towards the centre of the earth and that there are worms found there meant to inflict torment on the damned souls

The scientists who discovered the worms nicknamed them “worms from hell” but do not mention anything to do with the biblical hell in relation to the worms. They may have coined the name from the fact that the worms live in extremely hot conditions and in total darkness, the conditions found in hell.

The two lead researchers, Gaetan Borgonie of the University of Ghent in Belgium and Tullis Onstott of Princeton University, said the discovery of creatures so far below ground, was akin to finding “Moby Dick in Lake Ontario.”

The article on the worms first appeared in journal nature on Wednesday’s 11th June 2011.


1 Processing plant, Beatrix Gold Mine – photo source:

One of the worms formerly named Halicephalobus mephisto was found about one mile below the surface in Beatrix gold mine.

The research is likely to trigger scientific challenges and cause some controversy because it places far more complex life in an environment where researchers have generally held it should not, or even cannot, exist.

Borgonie led the South African nematode investigation largely without professional support or funds. He said that nematodes are known to exist on the deep ocean floor but not more than 10 to 20 feet below the surface of the ground or the ocean bed. The nematodes he discovered live in extremely hot water coming from boreholes fed by rock fissures and pools.

Courtesy of Gaetan Borgonie at University of Ghent – Head of a nematode “Halicephalobus Mephisto”.- photo source:

Complete worms of about one third of an inch in length, were found in two mines and DNA of another was found in a third. They were found at depths of between two thirds to more than two miles. The worms nearer the surface were brought to the lab and survived.

“it was not so much a dig as an underground safari.  We went into the deep Au mines of South Africa, the mines that were the inspiration for Tolkien’s mines of Moria.   Down in the tunnels you can access high pressure fissures of water by opening a valve.  That water contains microbes and the occasional worm issuing from the fractures behind the tunnel walls.   The water is hot and steamy, stinks of rotten eggs, and full of methane gas. Quite enjoyable “Said Tullis Onstott in a chat on Washington post website about how they made the discovery.

According to scientists, the worms use radiation from surrounding rocks to break down molecules in order to derive energy. The worms feed on bacteria.

Carl Pilcher, director of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute in California, commented on the usefulness of the research.

“It is entirely plausible, in fact extremely likely, that subsurface environments like those described in these papers exist on other worlds in this solar system and in other planetary systems,” he said of the new work and Onstott’s earlier discoveries.

The scientists who made the discovery went down the South African gold mines 25 times to collect samples.

This discovery is a huge one and one of its kind because the worms are the first multi-cellular organisms to be found in deep subsurface of earth.

What scientists seem not to comprehend is that Isaiah of the bible wrote about the existence of worms in hell a few thousand years ago. Isaiah 66:24 talks of worms in hell.

“….their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched…” says the book of Isaiah.

Jesus also talked about worms in hell in mark 9:45.

It might as well turn out that these real worms are from the real hell.

It is not the first time that scientists are making an amazing discovery about strange worms. About twenty years ago, scientists riding in a submarine came across strange worms called riftia thriving in a hydrothermal vent deep down the sea where no light reaches.

The “worms from hell” and riftia worms have two major common characteristics in that both can thrive in extremely high temperatures and can survive in total darkness.

Accordingly to the bible, hell is an extremely hot place with fire burning with brimstone which refers to sulphur(Rev 21:8). Although there is fire in hell, it is said to be a totally dark place because no sunlight ever reaches there.

Research showed that riftia worms, also called giant tube worms, survive on sulfur, the chemical that fuels fire in hell. Bacteria that live in the worm synthesize sulphur and the byproduct of this process becomes the livelihood of these worms.

Scientists have been quick to say that the new discovery of “worms from hell” could be an indication that there exists extra terrestrial life i.e. life beyond planet earth. They have said that this discovery actually shows that harsh conditions such as those found in other planets like mars are not a reason that life cannot thrive, after all, these worms have survived in a similar environment.

The significance of these worms to scientists is therefore that life could exist elsewhere apart from planet earth. This implies that scientists are not likely to focus their research further about the existence of worms in the real hell but rather are going to concentrate more on discovering extraterrestrial life!

Professor Tullis Onstott on the extreme right with colleagues (not involved in the research).Tullis Onstott, one of the lead scientists who made the discovery is a professor based in the University of Princeton, NJ, U.S.A.
photo source :

However, Tullis Onstott, one of the lead scientists who made the discovery, has hinted in a chat on Washington post website that they are going to find out where exactly nematodes appear in the sub surface and how prevalent they are. They also intend to look for nematodes beneath the sea floor near deep sea vents. He says that if they exist on the sea floor, they should exist beneath the sea floor.

That gives hope that one day scientist will find the place below the surface of the earth where these worms are prevalent- and that could be hell!

If scientists can take what prophet Isaiah wrote about worms from hell as a hypothesis and base their research on that, may be they can make more amazing discoveries about hell.

It is strange that these scientists decided to call their newly discovered worms “worms from hell”. One day, it might dawn to us that these are the real worms from the real hell!


Further reading on worms from hell

Worms from hell






Worms in hell


According to the book of Isaiah and Mark, there are worms found in hell. The bible says in the book of Acts that Herod was eaten by worms even before he died. Could these worms that attacked Herod be the ones found in hell? Where did the worms suddenly come from? Note that the worms ate him before he gave up his ghost.


Isa 66:24

“And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”- KJV

Act 12:23

“And immediately the angel of the lord smote him because he gave not God the glory, and he was eaten of worms, and he gave up the ghost.”- KJV

Isa 14:11

“Thy pomp is brought down to the grave and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.”- KJV

(NB: according to the strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries, grave refers to hell)

In Mark 9:43-48 Jesus warns about these worms three times.

Mar 9:43

“And if thy hand offends thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:”- KJV

Mar 9:44

“Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”- KJV

Mar 9:45

“and if thy foot offend thee, cut if off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:”-KJV

Mar 9:46

“Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”- KJV

Mar 9:47

“and if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:”-KJV

Mar 9:48

“Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”- KJV

From the testimonies we have read you have seen that most of those who went there saw giant worms tormenting the lost souls in hell.


There are strange giant tube worms that were discovered by scientists just recently. These worms are unique in that they are capable of surviving in total darkness, do not eat, can live in extremely hot temperatures below the surface of the earth and can survive in an environment full of sulfur(in fact sulfur is their source of livelihood), the chemical that fuels fire in hell according to the bible. All these characteristics are found in hell.

The scientist discovered the worms under the sea around hydrothermal vents, which are rather like small volcanoes occurring under the sea.

So the question is could riftia worms be the ones found in hell? The verdict is yours.

According to the last paragraph of this article, hydrotherms are temporarily in nature. Old ones die and new ones appear and wherever they appear, so do these giant tube worms. Hydrotherms are also found hundreds of miles apart and this may mean that the worms cannot move from one hydrothermal vent to another. What this might imply is that the worms come from deep inside the earth from where they are brought forth to the floor of the ocean by the hydrothermal vents.

The verdict is yours as to whether these worms are the actual ones found in hell. However, remember there are worms in hell as stated in the bible and as testified by those who have gone there and back and their work is to torment the lost souls.


Now you can read the article written by a scientist who probably had no idea that worms exist in hell. The scientists were using a tiny sub marine called Alvin under the deep ocean when they stumbled upon the sight.

Life without Light

by Kirsti Ritalahti

On the deep sea floor, where no sunlight penetrates the thousands of meters of water overhead, life has found a rare, ephemeral environment in which to flourish. It is a world hidden from our view in which the animals have adapted to a way of life only imaginable in a wild science fiction tale. It is a place which is never touched by a ray of light, other than that of the submersible submarines which first encountered them two decades ago. This environment is different from any other on earth, a consequence of the forces responsible for the spreading of the continents.

In both the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, there are places where hot magma under the surface of the sea floor causes cracks in the Earth’s crust. Sea water seeps into these holes, only to be forced out as mineral rich, warmed geysers into the cold, oxygen rich, deep ocean water. These unique springs are known as hydrothermal vents.




It was in one of these seeps at the Galapagos Rift off the west coast of South America, that Alvin, the tiny submarine, encountered a spectacular site. In front of the porthole were thousands of pale, long tubes, topped by a bright red plume. Like thick-stemmed tulips up to 3 meters long, these long tube worms swayed in the turbulence of the never before encountered spring. As Alvin scouted the area, it came upon a field of giant white clams; wide mouths open to the currents, padded feet embedded in the sediments. Teeming with curiosity, scientists asked the question: What is the food source that drives this ecosystem?

Their search revealed some surprising results. The water springing from the vents is rich in hydrogen sulfide, the same compound which gives rotten eggs their distinctive odor. Although not a very attractive source of food, some tiny free-living bacteria located in the region encircling the vents think otherwise. In a process akin to the way in which green plants on land use the power of sunlight for photosynthesis, these bacteria utilize the hydrogen sulfide emitted from the vent as a source of energy to convert carbon dioxide from the surrounding sea water into sugars that it needs for growth.

The tulip-like worms, however, proved even more astounding. These animals, Riftia pachyptila, have no mouth or gut. No way to eat food, including bacteria, from their surroundings. Instead their red plume rimmed with blood vessels reaches into the vent waters. Oxygen, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide bind to carrier molecules in the blood. As the heart pumps, these three compounds are delivered to the trophosome, a very specialized tissue. A unique structure, the trophosome contains densely packed bacteria, similar to the free living forms found in the surrounding water. In other words, within the body of the tube worm is a farm, well tended, and well worth it. For in return for a stable environment in which to live, and a constant source of energy and carbon, the bacteria provides Riftia with all the organic compounds that it requires for growth. This association of two different living entities is a symbiosis. Both organisms are wholly dependent upon the other for survival. Alvin encountered an ecosystem quite different from the ones in the sun-bathed world above the ocean floor. A place where tube worms and clams provide housing, and the bacteria pay rent.     

The hydrothermal vents are oases teeming with life on the dark sea floor. Each vent is transitory in the life of the planet; new ones are born as old ones die. They are distant and isolated from one another by hundreds of miles. Yet there are similarities among the communities surrounding these sites. It is likely that for as long as the geological forces that formed the earth continue, the prolonged success of these symbioses is almost indefinitely insured.



Giant tube worm


Giant tube worm

photo source(, giant tube worm)

According to Wikipedia, Giant tube worms, Riftia pachyptila, are marine
invertebrates in the phylum
(formerly grouped in phylum Pogonophora and Vestimentifera) related to tube worms commonly found in the intertidal and pelagic zones. Riftia pachyptila lives over a mile deep and up to several miles deep on the floor of the Pacific Ocean near black smokers and can tolerate extremely high temperatures and sulfur levels. They can reach a length of 2.4 m



Many among those who went to hell and back saw worms in hell including the following whose testimonies are contained in this book

Mary K. Baxter

She says


“…….I looked at the woman again, and worms were crawling out of the bones of her skeleton. They were not harmed by the fire. Jesus said, ‘She knows and feels those worms inside.”    

(Baxter, Mary k,”divine revelation of hell” chapter two, )

One of seven Columbian youths



“…It shocked us to see how their bodies were destroyed.  Worms were coming in and out of their empty eye sockets, mouths, and ears; and were penetrating the skin all through their bodies.. . “- ( , testimonies)




  1. Kirsti Ritalahti, “life without light”, retrieved 19th March 2011,


  2. “giant tube worm”, , retrieved 19th March 2011,


  3. Mary K. Baxter, “divine revelation of hell”, , retrieved 19th March 2011,


  4. “revelations of heaven and hell by 7 Columbian youths”,, retrieved 19th March 2011,