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Beware This Massive New Poisonous Centipede

Equally comfortable on land and water, it packs a seriously painful bite

Nature By


(Warut Siriwut, courtesy of Natural History Museum)
(Warut Siriwut, courtesy of Natural History Museum)

If you’re already scared of bugs, you’ll probably find this centipede terrifying. The newly discovered S. cataracta grows up to 7.9 inches, is poisonous, and moves along equally well on land or swimming/walking in water. (Thankfully, it appears to live only in Southeast Asia, decreasing your odds of encountering it.)

First spotted in 2001 by an entomologist honeymooning in Thailand, it took over a decade to confirm the centipede as a new species. National Geographic notes that this hunter’s bite “probably wouldn’t kill you” but would cause “agonizing pain.”

To read more about the discovery of this remarkable (if unnerving) creature in National Geographic, click here.