Do Worms and Earthworms Have Eyes? (Interesting Facts)

Many of us don’t pay attention to worms. However, once we do, we tend to have many questions driven out of curiosity. Among the many questions would be their way of sensing things. If you’re someone with a curious mind, you probably have asked the same question as I did:

Worms move around, and they don’t seem to have eyes to see. Since I find it fascinating, I did some research, and here’s what I found:

Do worms have eyes? No, worms don’t have eyes. Instead, they have dark and light receptors to help them navigate. The dark receptors work as a guide beneath the ground. The light receptors would work as an alarm if they went to the earth’s surface. Lastly, they use their bodies to feel the vibrations of animals nearby. 

Worms may not be the most attractive animals. However, they are fascinating animals with an essential role in the environment.

In this article, we’ll tackle everything you need to know about the worms’ ‘eyeless’ life and how they thrive without such.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Can worms and earthworms see?

The short answer is no. As I said earlier, worms cannot see, and that’s because they can’t do so.

Of course, since sight or vision is necessary for us, it can be quite mysterious to know how they navigate or move around.

Although worms don’t have eyes, they do have light receptors. Such tools can tell them whether they are in the dark or the light.

If they are in the dark, it usually means they are under the ground. If worms are in the light, it means they are above the ground or in any area with light.

One important thing to note is that the receptors work more than just mere senses.

Since worms live underground, their bodies tend to be sensitive to the sun should they ever go to the surface.

While the dark receptors help worms navigate underground, the light receptors alert them to go under if they detect light.

This way, worms remain underground and tries to go down should they detect light.

Related Articles About Worms Anatomy:

How do worms see?

Since worms pass through the soil, a pair of eyes won’t be necessary. In fact, if you think about it, moving underground means you won’t see anything in the first place.

Instead of a pair of eyes, they have their bodies acting as their primary senses. It receives vibrations of animals moving nearby.

The bodies also send data to their brain through nerves to help them navigate.

In general, worms don’t have eyes since it’s not necessary for them. So, how do they see? They see through light and dark receptors in their bodies.

Moreover, their bodies can sense vibrations in the ground. It helps them indicate whether there are animals nearby.

Do earthworms have eyes?

Like other worms, earthworms don’t have eyes as well. From the name itself, earthworms are always in the earth or soil.

For this reason, they don’t need a pair of eyes to help them navigate.

If you would think about it, being underground means it’s almost always pitch dark in there.

Thus, if you’re wondering why they don’t have any eyes, it’s because having a pair won’t help them navigate.

worm without eyes

Why don’t worms have eyes?

Worms don’t have eyes simply because they don’t need such. As I said, crawling underground would mean they are always in places with no light.

Since it’s always pitch dark in places where they live, a pair of eyes won’t be necessary.

Aside from the darkness, they are also coursing through the soil. Thus, having a pair of eyes only to see such wouldn’t be ideal.

In general, worms don’t have eyes because it’s not a helpful tool for them as worms.

Instead of eyes, they have dark and light receptors. These tools enable worms to determine whether they are in the light or the dark.

If they are in the dark, it would mean they are still underground. If worms are in the light, it means they would be above ground.

The receptors also prevent them from staying in the light. If they remain under the light, especially that of the sun, it will burn their skin and kill them.

In short, the dark receptor helps them continue to navigate underground. On the other hand, the light receptor acts as an alarm to prevent worms from staying somewhere with light.

Since worms live and move through the ground, they need different senses to help them navigate.

Read also other articles about worms’ heads and brains, hair, hearts, blood, and lungs.

Are there any worms with eyes?

Worms of all kinds usually don’t have eyes. It’s more so if the worm lives underground.

As I said earlier, since worms live beneath the ground, a pair of eyes for sight isn’t strictly necessary. In fact, it would be pretty much useless should it ever have such.

Some invertebrates may have eyes, but it’s not precisely worms, so to say. Thus, it can be a bit overrated to see cartoons and games with worms having eyes.

It’s more of a character rather than a useful tool for worms we see on the screens.

In general, worms that live underground wouldn’t have eyes. If they do live above the ground, they may have one, although they’ll not likely use it.


While worms aren’t as attractive as other animals, it can be fun to learn something about them. Such animals live in a completely different way. Among the difference lies in their sight.

Worms don’t have eyes, so they cannot see. However, if you look at it, they don’t need to see it in the first place. Since they are always underground, they use their bodies and receptors to navigate.

The receptors help them navigate and avoid sunlight from drying them out. Further, they can feel vibrations to know if there’s an animal around.

For a worm, a pair of eyes isn’t as useful as it is for us. Thus, if you worry about them not having eyes, then don’t. They don’t grieve about it either.


Image credits – Canva

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