By: Frank Williams Jr.
For the last few months MASSIVE mounds have been stumping people in one South American town. However, now scientists finally have figured out what they are…
The piles, which are called surales, were found by using remote sensing techniques, satellite images and aerial photographs taken by a drones.
José Iriarte from the University of Exeter’s Archaeology Department says in a statement: “The fact we know they were created by earthworms across the seasonally flooded savannahs of South America will certainly change how we think about human verses naturally-built landscapes in the region,”.
These surales cover a lot of the Orinoco Llanos tropical grassland in Columbia and Venezuela. The Orinoco also being one of South America’s longest rivers.
They found that up to a half of each mound consists of worm poop, which is technically known as vermicast, or “worm manure”.
The scientists also found out that surales form when large earthworms feed in shallowly flooded soils. As the worms release vermicast, towers of the material form above water level. As each earthworm returns to the same spot to feed and poo, the towers become mounds that can get up to 16 feet in diameter!