How do worms dig their tunnels if their body is soft?

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How do worms dig their tunnels if their body is soft?

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They may be soft but that actually aids them. They can use muscle mass to force their way through the ground and expand their bodies to create the tunnels. Have you seen how long worms can make themselves?

There is a video online showing what tiny little holes large octopi can escape through specifically because they’re soft and do not have a bone structure. Worms are similar.

their body is mostly muscle, which can become hard when they need it to be hard. Elephant trunk is also all muscle, with no bones. But elephants can lift heavy things with it.

They are eating the dirt and dirt is not generally packed too hard. They can move though it and eat it out of their way.

Isn’t it so that they eat the soil and then poop it all back out?

They are really more like tubes. They eat a little dirt, push it through their body, and poop it behind them. So they don’t have to push their way though anything really, they just have to eat it and poop it, then crawl through the resulting hole

The back edges of the rings on their body have small hooks/spikes that face backward. When they push forward they make the front their bodies thin to squeeze in the space, then they contract the rest of the body to engage the hooks and move forward.

Have you tried pulling a worm out thats half way down a hole? shits hard as fuck without ripping it in half you kinda just have to grab on, and let it give up and slowly it will come out. Plus they kinda eat and poop dirt.

The ground is softer than the worm and by expanding and contracting it’s muscles it can poke and widen a hole large enough to fit through, over and over, creating a tunnel.

I could be wrong, but I do believe besides having little arms (setae) to help move, they “eat” the soil getting the nutrients from it and then it passes through the anus. So essentially, they’re not just pushing it out of the way, but eating through it

I was about to comment on how as a kid I always imagined that they just ate the dirt in front and pooped it behind and how even though I know that’s clearly not the answer, it’s still the first place my mind goes after all these years. Lol, right!?

But holy crap the amount of people here who earnestly believe that’s how it works is staggering.

Worms are so fascinating. I started worm composting right before the pandemic started. It’s crazy watching worms turn food waste into perfect black soil. I even took it so far as to design my own worm compost bin – called the [Worm Bucket](https://www.wormbucket.com).

What people mean by “worms” cover several species. So, most answers on this thread are technically right even if they are completely different

There seems to be two different answers in the comments. They expand and contract/use muscles and hairs OR eat the dirt and poop it out.

Which one is the right one?