The Centipede from Hell

CentipedeFromHell02Science presents us with yet another nightmarish creature which haunts the depths of the deep blue sea! This time it’s small by comparison but still impressive. In addition to being quite creepy looking, it’s quite deadly for the creatures it preys upon. Take a look at the latest monster from the deep!

The area around Croatia hosts submarine caves that are among the deepest in the world. Scientists are only beginning to investigate these dangerous abodes and to search for what might live there.

CentipedeFromHell03Enter the centipede from hell (top right), dubbed Geophilus hadesi after the god of the underworld, Hades.  Living 3,500 feet below the ocean surface, this creepy crawly has plenty of adaptations to survive in its perilous environment. (View of the cave, left.)

According to scientist Pavel Stoev who works for the National Museum of Natural History in Sofia, “When I first saw the animal and its striking appearance, I immediately realized that this is a new, hitherto unnamed and highly-adapted-to-cave-environment species. This finding comes to prove once again how little we know about the life in caves, where even in the best prospected areas, one can still find incredible animals.”

CroatiaMapCreepy Adaptations

Geophilus hadesi is only about an inch long, but its antennas are five times the length of its head which is an unusual proportion in the bug world. Add to that 33 long leg claws which look lethal, and you have a pretty gruesome beastie.  Just to be sure this creepy crawly can obliterate its unfortunate prey, G. hadesi also sports strong jaws with poison glands. Lovely.

Stoev and his colleagues expect to find a lot of unusual and exciting creatures lurking in these deep caves, many of which will probably be new to science.

I wish them luck!

Would you want to dive in these mysterious caves?

References

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/06/30/say-hello-to-the-centipede-from-hell/?wpisrc=nl_science&wpmm=1

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