Dr. Meredith L. Jones Holding a Preserved Sample of a Giant Worm, by Dougherty, Harold E, 1981, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, Dr. Meredith L. Jones, invertebrate zoologist and one of the world's leading experts on the anatomy of worms, at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, holds a preserved sample of his namesake Riftia pachyptila Jones, a giant tube worm. Scientists discovered giant tube worms in 1977 a mile and a half down on the sea floor off the famed Galapagos Islands and were completely baffled. After years of intensive research by Dr. Jones and many scientists across the nation, the answer to the question of how could these worms and other animals could survive in this hostile environment was finally found..