Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Today I was thinking about Centipedes...

So, I wrote this several months back (I did not do the header image, the rest is all me though) and the number one most horrifying monster on the list to me was the Gejigeji, a monstrous Japanese centipede that are apparently considered good luck, and look like a bunch of spiders glued together with fear:

I could not imagine how anyone could not be horrified by these things. Then something really weird happened; people in the comment section of the topic page started saying "Those are just house centipedes, they have them where I live." So I looked them up, and lo-and-behold, they are an ancient family of centipedes that really should only be terrifying to insects, spiders and scorpions. They are completely harmless, kind of like if a werewolf only ate other werewolves. (Which is to say they are still freaky to look at, but at least they don't bite)

So because my life seems to love irony, I discovered within a week of the topic page being featured on Cracked that the apartment building I live in is infested with these things (the smaller American version, which tops out at about an inch and a half) and it turns out they are fascinating and not really scary up close.

The first one I saw I thought was a cockroach, and it moved FAST. They hunt by jumping on their prey, and believe me, these bastards can jump. This segues nicely into the whole reason I am posting this; this morning, I find a little one, no more than a half inch long in our bathroom sink. My wife is the kind of awesome person who wouldn't kill a tarantula, despite being terrified of spiders; she would just make me take it outside. Fortunately, New Hampshire is lacking in wild tarantulas.

So she had noticed the little centipede in the shower and scooped him up and put him in the sink so as to not drown him in the shower; this is where I found him. I showed my 4 year old, who thought he was cute (he was, actually. I like it when animals act like dogs, and he was cleaning himself, which looked a lot like a dog scratching itself)

I caught him after a chase (they can run like a damn bullet train) and carried it over to a particularly poorly built part of our bathroom where he could run off into the darkness and be safe. I set him down on a flat surface, and he leaped 180 degrees from what we would consider upright to upside down faster than I could register it and ran off.

Why there is not a "Gejigeji Man" superhero yet is beyond me.

Okay, maybe because the people he rescued would run away screaming. The best part about these things? Not only do they pounce on their prey using those awesome jumping skills, they poison them, and beat them to death with their legs. It's like a bug mixed with Mike Tyson and Ted Nugent.

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