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Scientists discover new freaky-looking, amphibious centipede

In Southeast Asia and fancy a dip by a waterfall? You may want to watch out for this vicious-looking centipede, the first of its species known to be amphibious.


This new giant centipede species is capable of swimming and hunting in the water.

Warut Siriwut et al/ZooKeys

There's a new centipede in town, and it's one that you shouldn't mess with. The Scolopendra cataracta was discovered by George Beccaloni of the Natural History Museum in London during his honeymoon to Thailand in 2001, according to National Geographic. The specimen then languished in the Museum's collection for years, as a skeptical expert cast doubts over the centipede's amphibious qualities.. cataracta, Latin for waterfall, grows up to 7.9 inches (20 centimetres), has a venomous bite and is the first known centipede with the ability to swim. The good news for most (unless you live where I do) is that it's only found in Southeast Asia.

However, it was only recently where Beccaloni's colleagues found two more specimens in Laos and had DNA testing done to confirm that it was indeed a new species.

If you happen to dip in a lake in Southeast Asia and get bitten, the bite won't kill you, but it will hurt, says National Geographic.