In a future Earth it has been discovered that earthworms can actually create wormholes.

There is a lot more to this and I will be asking other questions, however at this point I just want to know if worms can be detected and tracked underground by any means.

For example they could have a miniature radio transmitter or a radio-active material implanted.


My story will require that volunteers around the world search for and detect tagged worms that may reappear anywhere after being released and then going through a wormhole.

I don't know if a radio signal from a tiny, low-power transmitter can travel through damp earth or how far.

The scientific question is: Could electronic means be used to find and then track electronically-tagged worms underground and if so how far underground and from how far away (for example from a helicopter that was searching over a wide area)?


Some lumbricus terrestris can do this. We tag individuals with a transmitter and release them at a known location inside a worm-proof box. They disappear from the box (and we know when they disappear because their signal disappears) but we don't know where they will re-appear - maybe hundreds of miles away. That's why we need to detect them underground at their destination. There will be volunteers everywhere who are searching for them with receivers. When they detect a worm's approximate 'landing' point (it will be underground), they email us with its radio signature. This way we can track their wormhole travels.

To avoid people cheating (and probably boasting on YouTube they have found a worm) thus messing up our records, they are asked to mail them back to us at our expense.

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    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, without knowledge of how wormholes work and what types of emissions they put out, we can't really track them as they appear. $\endgroup$ – Bewilderer Dec 13 '18 at 0:56
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    $\begingroup$ How can they have a transmitter if they pop out of a wormhole? $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Dec 13 '18 at 4:13
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    $\begingroup$ The answer is either a trivial "yes"', or it is way too broad. How far away are we supposed to track them? What precision? Do you want to track them real-time, or just knowing where they were? Is it allowed to catch them before or not...? $\endgroup$ – clem steredenn Dec 13 '18 at 5:39
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    $\begingroup$ Edited to address above queries. $\endgroup$ – chasly - reinstate Monica Dec 13 '18 at 10:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Bewilderer - We are detecting the worm not the wormhole. See Edit to question. $\endgroup$ – chasly - reinstate Monica Dec 13 '18 at 10:33

Typical VLF radio transmissions can travel between 300 to 500 feet through soil and rock. This isn't exactly far (walk in a straight line for about a minute) - soil and rock are very good at absorbing radio signals. A tiny low-power transmitter sized for injection into a worm will have a far shorter range

To be detected, a worm would have to be either very close to your receiver, or very close to the surface - as such, I doubt you would get much in the way of valid results

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