Man Plays the Ultimate April Fool’s Prank at the LA Zoo

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Have you ever seen the world's oldest earth worm? Well your dream could come true at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens — sort of. A man claiming to be a staff member at the zoo made a big announcement on TikTok. But some people sort of suspected it wasn't exactly on the level...

The man, who called himself Felix and claimed to be a zookeeper at the zoo, shared that the zoo was celebrating a big milestone.

Shared online by @beachboyz2men, the video claimed that Felix was the foremost expert on the zoo's "most unusual animal" — "the oldest living known earthworm."

Related: Video of Owls Intently Focusing on a Worm Is Going Viral

Felix said the worm's name was "Pops" and claimed that it was 206 years old.

"This is considerably older than the average lifespan of four to eight years," he said, before listing some of the great moments of US history that Pops has allegedly seen, like the Civil War....Hmmm, something about that just doesn't seem right.

But we weren't the only ones who sort of doubted Felix's story. Did we mention the video was published on April 1? "This is the cruelest prank I’ve ever experienced I WANTED TO BELIEVE," exclaimed one person in the comments section. "I got so excited. Then I realized what day it is," a second person chimed in. "I was like 'wow how did they know the worm was that old,'" one woman admitted. "I gotta stop falling for these April fools jokes it’s took me WAYYYY too long," someone else chimed in.

The Real World’s Oldest Worm

It may not have been an earthworm named Pops, but in 2023 CNN reported that a roundworm from 46,000 years ago that was discovered and successfully revived. The roundworm was found 40 meters (131.2 feet) below the Siberian permafrost. Speaking with the news outlet, Teymuras Kurzchalia, professor emeritus at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden and one of the researchers who found the worm, explained it was found in a dormant state known as cryptobiosis.

In this state organisms can live without water or air and withstand high temperatures. They exist in a state “between death and life,” Kurzchalia said.

Amazingly, the worm was around when there were woolly mammoths, sabre-toothed tigers and giant elks — animals that are now long extinct.

The researchers revived the worm hoping that it will give them insight into other scientific discovery.

"By looking at and analyzing these animals, we can maybe inform conservation biology, or maybe even develop efforts to protect other species, or at least learn what to do to protect them in these extreme conditions that we have now," Kurzchalia explained.

So we guess you could say the world's oldest worm is probably not chilling in southern California.

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