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Peanut Worm

Common name for a species of unsegmented marine worm, with the scientific designation Sipunculus nudus. The worm is commonly found in temperate or tropical waters, hiding in sand burrows on the seabed of sandy shores at subtidal zones, from where it at night extends its tentacles to feed by filtering plant and animal tissue from the seawater. Peanut Worms occur to a depth of around 900 metres and generally grow to a length of around 15 centimetres, though larger individuals are sometimes found. In Vietnam, Peanut Worms are collected and sold for human consumption, known as sa sung (sá sùng), and in southern China, the worms are considered a delicacy, in Fujian called tǔ sǔn (土笋), which literally means ‘earth bamboo shoot’, yet in other areas, such as Beihai, the worms are referred to as shā chóng (沙虫), which means ‘sandworm’. Before consumption, the worms must be cleaned of their entrails.