In late October, worms on a string suddenly and mysteriously started showing up around OHS. An Instagram account, @ohs_worm_gang, simultaneously appeared and thus our school was introduced to the Worm Gang.
Originally popular in the 1970’s, these neon wigglers have made a resurgence. Resembling pipe cleaners, the worm on a string is officially called a Squirmle but the internet decided it liked worm on a string better. What most might not know is that they also became popular in the fly fishing world as colorful and tantalizing bait.
Meme culture somehow decided that worms on a string were a perfect addition. They now span across all manners of social media from Pinterest to TikTok. In usual fashion, people took these googly-eyed critters and ran with them. From memes to crafts, you can’t escape the worms.
A group of students decided to bring the craze to our school. Going by Joe, Eeyore, Cheeto and Avocado, throughout the last few months they have hidden worms around the high school, sometimes with candy, for the population to find.
The student leaders of the Worm Gang do not wish to reveal their identities as of yet but intend to someday.
“We were inspired by internet memes and our childhood,” the spokesperson for the Worm Gang said.
They encourage students to “join the worm gang” by DMing the Instagram account to share their find.
At one point the masterminds had created a worm shrine underneath one of the silo staircases, posting on Instagram that people were free to leave offerings. It was mysteriously taken down but by that time it had accumulated ample offerings for the worms.
“[The worm shrine] was a funny way for us to interact with those who appreciated our activities. It also takes money to do it continuously, so if there was anyone who wanted to leave a donation they could,” the spokesperson said.
Nobody is funding this project so the leaders get worms when they can but there are stretches of time where you won’t find one for weeks. Though the worms became scarce in December, the gang was back at it again during the last week before break and have reappeared several times in January.
Some of the worms have gained legs.
“One word: evolution,” the spokesperson said. They alluded to more plans for the future for the student body to discover.
Though the worm shine caught the attention of the administration, OHS seems to be enjoying the worms, much like the paper cranes with messages inside that are left around the school.
“They are cute, fuzzy, stress relieving and can serve many purposes,” the spokesperson said.
If you find one of these worms, you can DM the Instagram account and share your discovery. The masterminds hope that they brighten people’s day to find them.