Monday, November 16, 2015

Mealworms Eat Styrofoam!!! Random News

As you may have heard, there are tons and tons of plastics floating in our oceans. Much of this debris is plastic which will never degrade. Animals often eat the floating debris or get caught in it and die. It is just awful.

That's where these lovely little worms come in! I still think they look absolutely disgusting but the fact that they eat styrofoam earns them tiny super hero status.

Mealworms contain enzymes in their gut which can actually digest styrofoam. Scientists are studying these enzymes in order to synthesize a similar substance which may be able to disintegrate trash island and/or create other products that are easier to biodegrade. During the initial study Scientists found, "larvae that ate a diet subsisting strictly of Styrofoam were as healthy as mealworms eating a normal diet of bran (CNN)."

Trash island is apparently more like a highly concentrated plastic confetti solution rather than actual trash but it is still highly problematic for most ocean animals. Barnacles seem to love it though (iO9).

I feel like telling the whole world about these awesome creatures. Thanks for tuning in. Now if you have some extra mealworms lying around after feeding your strange pets you can help the environment by biodegrading some styrofoam - for the good of us all!

Although this is awesome it isn't a free pass to use plastic and styrofoam carelessly. Plastic pollution is still a huge problem and plastic manufacturing yields toxic byproducts. You can read more about the awful properties of styrofoam at

<3 KM


  1. Poor mealies. I do hope they really are just as healthy as non-styrofoam-munching ones! But bugs really do deserve more credit for all the work they do on this planet. :')

  2. It seems nearly impossible that they could be healthy right? Hopefully it won't cause any mutations when they turn into beetles.