New Study Finds Centipedes Can Kill Prey 15x Their Size With Deadly 'Spooky Toxin' Venom
Many people fear all insects based on how they look, how they crawl, or because they tap into our innate squeamishness. That said, some insects warrant your fears for more tangible reasons and merit extreme caution.
While unarguably both creepy and crawly, the centipede doesn't often get lumped into the same dangerous category as scorpions and snakes. Now a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal suggests that we re-evaluate our treatment of the hundred-legged insect—its venom can kill a mouse in 30 seconds, and humans too-a violently unpretty demise wherein you spasm until death.
"Centipedes can subdue giant prey by using venom, which is metabolically expensive to synthesize and thus used frugally through efficiently disrupting essential physiological systems," says the study's abstract, meaning that while a centipede does not produce much of its venom and uses it sparingly, that venom is strong enough to throw a whole food chain out of whack. That means not even we are safe from a centipede set on taking us out.