(Last updated: 15 July 2019)
UPDATE! It has been so many years since I wrote this. I’ve since figured out, the photos here are non-venomous millipedes. They’re harmless. :P
There are many venomous things that bite here in Thailand. Centipedes are just one Thailand beastie. I was reading an article in the online Pattaya City News about a local Thai man that was bitten by a centipede and he nearly died from it. It sounds bizarre, but, after I ate the fried scorpion that still had some potent venom in it and I went to the hospital with very shallow breathing I understand that it can happen anytime.
I’ve been bitten by a small centipede in Maui, Hawaii once. I had them all over my floor as they lived under the carpet in my bedroom closet. They were a couple inches long and not the monster ones you see here in Thailand. They were really cool colors, like pastels.
Anyway. I was sitting for breakfast with my sandals on in the living room and I felt a burn. Then it was as if my foot was on fire… when I looked I saw a small 3 inch centipede clamping down on the outside of my foot. Apparently I had stepped on him by accident. BUT, don’t think you need to cause them harm first – they bite without reason as soon as they know they’re near skin for some reason. They bite immediately.
I killed it, because I kill anything that bites me.
My foot swelled up a lot, but nothing major. It hurt for a few days. This guy that was bitten in Thailand had an allergic reaction to the poison and his breathing became shallow. I know just what that’s like because I must have been allergic to the scorpion poison. It felt as if I would soon die because there was just not enough breath coming in. Strange feeling. I had it once before as I ate some Aunt Jemimah’s Pancake syrup in Florida- I damn near died on the floor of my apartment from it – but I was able to grab a phone and hit 911 in time.
Thing is, and why poisonous things are so dangerous is that you don’t really know you’re allergic to some poison until the thing bites you.
There are some Giant centipedes here in Thailand, on scale with some of those in Hawaii. I’ve seen a couple in Hawaii that were almost as long as my forearm and as thick as my ring finger.
Recently in Phuket there was a story going around that a MONSTER centipede lived in a palm tree down there and some locals saw it and called the newspaper. I’ll have to find that story. I also remember a Jack London story about a huge centipede falling into a girl’s hair… I’ll find a link to that one too.
Some Thai kids caught a big one where they were eating at a park cabana and almost cut off it’s head. It lived and walked around before they dismembered the lower part. It still lived and ran around. They laughed like it was a riot. Yes it’s cruel, but I was just videotaping – I had nothing to do with the harming of the centipede – nor do I condone it. This is a different culture though – and Thais do as they wish…
Here is another
centipede harmless millipede! that I saw at Wat Tum Sua while walking around the foothills near where the monks live in the caves. I petted him because he seemed friendly enough. Not sure if this is a centipede or millipede as he appears to have 2 pair of legs for each segments, but not sure… On YouTube they can’t figure it out either.
Jack London Story mentioning a huge centipede in Hawaii >
(man I like Jack London’s Stories of Hawaii“
Here is the monster centipede story from the Phuket Gazette a while back:
Centipede on steroids
RAWAI: Villagers in Rawai were dumbfounded when a huge centipede, reportedly half a meter in length, was spotted near a public waterhole in Village 2.
At 1 pm on February 6, villagers in the area of Baan Thai Mai (New Thais Village) on Wiset Rd were seen crowding around a 20-meter-tall sugar palm tree. All were excitedly trying to catch a glimpse of an enormous centipede reportedly hiding out high up in the trees canopy.
Some villagers were throwing rocks at the tree, hoping to force the arthropod to come down and make an appearance. Others stood ready with cameras, hoping to capture an image of the creature as a souvenir.
One villager, identified only as Rawee, 45, said he was the first one to spot the centipede the day before.
He and four other friends were bathing in the public waterhole when he saw the enormous centipede crawl down the tree and dip itself in the water before crawling back up to the safety of the trees upper reaches.
He described the centipede as reddish-brown in color, about 50 centimeters in length and with a girth similar to that of a human arm.
Rawee and his bathing buddies were astonished by the size of the centipede because they had never seen anything like it, he said.
After the initial shock wore off, he screamed out to other villagers in the area about the centipede. All who saw it agreed that it was, in truth, a very large specimen. Word of the discovery soon became the talk of the tambon, with people from near and far hoping to catch a glimpse of the hundred-legged invertebrate.
The sheer size of the creature, if correctly reported, is significant because the largest known species of centipede, the Amazonian giant centipede, reportedly maxes out at about 30 centimeters in length. The Vietnamese centipede, which matches the color description given by K. Rawee, only reaches about 20 centimeters in length.
At last report, residents of the area were planning a mission to scale the sugar palm in an effort to catch a better view of the centipede or even capture it and put it on display for all to see.
Surprisingly in a case such as this, there were no reports of people trying to divine winning lottery numbers from aspects of the creatures physiology.
Source: Siang Tai
Centipede biting man article from Pattaya City News:
On Wednesday Night, Rescue Workers received an urgent call to attend to a Thai Man, Khun Mongkong aged 31, who had become seriously ill after sustaining a bite from a large Centipede. The man was walking around the back of his house and was wearing only sandals. It was dark and he suddenly felt a sharp pain on his right ankle and realized he had been bitten. He soon lost consciousness and his breathing became shallow. He was rushed to the Queen Sirigit Hospital and we can report he was given drugs to counteract the affects of the bite and he is now expected to fully recover from the ordeal.