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The After-the-Rain Worm Concrete Migration Rescue System

Protecting one of natures most beloved.
  [vote for,

After every rainstorm, a great tragedy comes. Struggling for air, members of the species Aporrectodea tuberculata venture onto hostile concrete lands, only to be squashed by thoughtless shopping carts, baked in the sun, or eaten by 15-month-olds.

What drives the earthworm to such desperation? Are they just escaping their flooded earthen homeworlds, or is there something more? Does the rain awaken some primitive instinct to migrate to their spawning grounds on the other side of the parking lot, like the celebrated but tragic salmon's last species-prolonging act? Are they imitating the myth of mass lemming suicide? Are aliens scrambling their brains in an attempt to take over and eliminate the species? Is it a strange rite-of-passage to be adopted into the Order of the Worm?

The Worm Rescue System consists of a robotic lawn-mower, minus the blade and outfitted with a scoop-shovel, which is vented to drain off the water while transporting its spineless occupants to the safety of higher ground; be it in an elevated garden-box, or your son's worm farm.

Or, you could just go fishing.

Also makes a handy robotic snow-removal system.

RayfordSteele, May 03 2003

Relocating Bufo boreas halophilus http://www.catenema.com/toad1.htm
Not quite the same as the Aporrectodea tuberculata, but a species rescue all the same. [Klaatu, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Flipping sidewalk http://www.halfbake...Flipping_20Sidewalk
shameless self-promotion [schematics, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Everything you need to know about earthworms in the rain. http://www.straight...lassics/a2_014.html
[Amos Kito, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]


       Retrain the 15-month olds to carry them to safety. They would love it!
phundug, May 03 2003

       Worms are horrible. Why do we want to save them?   

       Anyway, one worm cut in half by a trolley = two happy worms.
MikeOliver, May 04 2003

       I have noticed that quite a few worms get flushed along with rains, in the road curb, into stormwater drains. I was also trying to think up a worm survival net/channel . (the fish are so over fed) In nature we are all dependent on everything playing the circle, man isn't old enough to leave mother earth yet.
wjt, May 04 2003

       Mike, that's only for a few specific species.
RayfordSteele, May 04 2003

       Is the primary problem you're trying to solve the senseless death of countless worms, or the total gross-out of the passers-by who stumble upon the carnage?   

       I like the idea of road signs for invertebrates. ;)
mandy, May 04 2003

       Well, since worms (earthworms at least) do good for the ground, I would say this is a pretty good idea. +
smileydudette, May 04 2003

       Phundug is the aikido master here: all hail phundug. Turn your enemies might around and use it for your benefit. I think his observation about 15 month olds is spot on.
bungston, May 04 2003

       [Mike O] Even though it looks like the worm is alive when cut in two, it usually isn't. They're dead. What you're seeing is the nerves spasming after death, which is normal for just about everything. Including pigs (see Samauri Slaughter House)
ghillie, May 11 2004

       Why not just cut thin (1 cm) slots in the pavement to allow exposure to the dirt beneth?
GenYus, May 11 2004

       The initial reason for their evasion is the water-saturated soil - they can't get any oxygen.....or so my dear old mum told me......
normzone, May 11 2004

       [normzone] Worms go above ground because although they may be ugly and slimy, they're not stupid. They dig holes in the ground to crawl around... when the rain comes it fills the holes. They don't want to drown so they go above ground. And the driest place is usually on concrete or pavement.
ghillie, May 11 2004

       Then perhaps they just need umbrellas. Or SCUBA gear. We should be able to solve this one.
Worldgineer, May 11 2004

       Maybe a robotic wormsuit that ties in with your 11-year-old's gameboy?   

       <fatherly advice>"That thing will make you stupid."
"Dad, I'm saving the worms from extinction! No, really!"
RayfordSteele, May 11 2004

       I think a flipping sidewalk would be more efficient. see link.
schematics, May 11 2004

       OK. So, my question is, Is it fruitless to try and save them? I was just out in my work parking lot because I get really bored at work and have to go outside a lot, and there's worms everywhere. Some of them were clearly dead and potato bugs were feasting on them, but others were crawling, trying to get back to the soil. Most of them were going the wrong way. I'm a helper, more accurately, a rescuer, so I had to do something. So, I put the ones that were still alive back in the soil, just as it started raining. Do I save them again after they've been flushed out by this rain? Or do I just bid them adieu and sing "Circle of Life" at the top of my lungs as a little tribute to their plight?
poopyshoe, Aug 28 2006

       What if you simply hose off the sidewalk after the rain. That would sweep the worms back onto the grass. Would they be able to survive this force?
phundug, Aug 29 2006

       If the force was with them ....
normzone, Nov 08 2017

       I'm still wondering why worms taste so good to fish. In what evolutionary environment did worms and fish ever meet?
RayfordSteele, Nov 09 2017

       In their gut. Fish can be full of worms.
mylodon, Nov 14 2017

       Trying to save something, even if in reality it is pointless is still a good psychological behaviour to have.   

       River fish would have a natural diet of annelids if natural food falls are undisturbed.
wjt, Nov 16 2017

       Alternate solution: sidewalk fish.
Worldgineer, Nov 30 2017

       // In what evolutionary environment did worms and fish ever meet?//

I would imagine that quite a lot of worms get flushed out of riverbanks into rivers.
DrBob, Nov 30 2017

       [DrBob] Clever parody of the newbie.
wjt, Dec 02 2017


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