Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why I'm Afraid of Millipedes

Millipedes (class Diplopoda) are myriapodous arthropods that have two pairs of legs on most body segments. Each double-legged segment is a result of two single segments fused together as one (the name "Diplopoda" comes from the Greek words διπλοῦς (diplous), "double" and ποδός (podos), "foot"). [...] The name "millipede" is a compound word formed from the Latin roots mille ("thousand") and pes ("foot"). Despite their name, no known millipede has 1,000 legs, although the rare species Illacme plenipes has up to 750.
-from Wikipedia.

Seriously? You need an explanation why I'm afraid?  Just LOOK AT THEM.


Actually, my fear of these creatures comes directly from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.  One of my favourite movies as a kid, it was also the first I saw to have what is described as "Frightening and Intense Scenes" and man-oh-man, you can't get much more intense and frightening than the bug scene to a five year old.  All the bugs were pretty gross and disturbing, but the one that really got me was the giant millipede that crawled up the lovely Ms Caphaw's shirt.  How she married Stephen Spielberg after he put her through that scene I will never know.


Did you know that the giant African millipede can grow to be over 15 inches long?  Or how about the prehistoric arthropleura, which could grow to be EIGHT AND A HALF F*CKING FEET LONG.

Fortunately modern, common millipedes are much smaller than that.  But that still makes them no less terrifying and gross.  Nor does it excuse the absolutely horrifying fact that they can derail trains

So yeah, I'm afraid of millipedes, for damn good reason.

12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. In that case, this month of blogging is teaching me A LOT.

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  2. I connected immediately with your topic and yes, they are disgusting. I'd add sinister, sinuous and misunderstood too. Great M word.

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    Replies
    1. Ooo, sinuous is a great word. I disagree with "misunderstood," though. They're evil. No misunderstanding there.

      Thanks for reading!

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  3. Replies
    1. Yeah, some of my phobias may seem a bit silly, but millipedes... No, just no. Does anyone actually LIKE the damn things?

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  4. I agree, they are a bit scary .. here in SA they have the centipede, smaller - I guess 100 legs, and they're always a harbinger of rain when seen ..
    other Susan from gardenofeden blog.

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    Replies
    1. Apparently the difference between centipedes and millipedes (I had to look it up) is that centipedes have 1 set of legs per body segment and millipedes have 2 sets. While millipedes tend to have more legs, neither usually have anywhere near a hundred (except for rare exceptions as noted above).

      Both are disgusting.

      And hey, another fun fact: While millipedes are non-toxic, centipedes actually have a mild venom. That's just grand.

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  5. OK the 8 ft millipede is insane but I can take a millipede over a centipede-yuck

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    1. Yeah, at least they're not poisonous. Though when faced with a swarm of them in the dark, it doesn't really matter. I'm sure as hell not stopping to count their legs...

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  6. Oh, yuck-I hate those things too.

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    Replies
    1. Here, here! Let's get some bug spray and some heavy boots and we'll go on a squashing party!

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