This being a university department, after all, an answer was arrived at before lunch. These surging worms, it turns out, were actually maggots: gnat larvae. They were engaged in a mass migration, probably due to all the recent rain, and apparently we were pretty lucky to see it (it's kind of rare). Here is a photo of one of these migrations, with the attractive file name "maggot stream."
Friday, July 31, 2009
Massing gnat maggots
A colleague discovered on the Press's driveway this morning an organism she at first mistook for a snake. Looking closer, she discovered it to be thousands of tiny worms. This created a small stir in the office almost on the level of when someone brings a box of Spudnuts in.