They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that apparently includes the creepy crawlies found there. A massive redhead centipede has caused Texans, and the Internet, to collectively freak out, after a photo of one was posted to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Facebook page.
The giant centipede was apparently one found in Garner State Park. It has too many yellow, pointy legs for us to feel comfortable staring at it, and a super long black body supporting the red head.
It is also known by its scientific name, Scolopendra heros, and is usually found in Mexico—although it can also be found in south and southwestern states in the U.S.
Urban legends state that a bite from the redhead centipede is deadly—one story has it that a Civil War soldier died in his sleep after he was bitten in the chest by one. Fortunately, although undoubtedly kind of creepy, the centipede is not really a dangerous “killer” after all.
While the centipede does release painful toxin with its bite, the bite is typically not as lethal as the tales would have you believe.
Symptoms after being bitten typically only include some pain and swelling. Some victims report feelings of nausea and headaches. UPI reported that incidents of necrosis and cardiac arrest have occurred as a result of a bite, but are extremely rare.
Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine wrote:
“While caution is certainly warranted when dealing with the giant redheaded centipede, downright terror is probably an overreaction.”
The creature feeds on lizards, toads, small rodents, and even snakes. It usually has 21 to 23 pairs of legs, and can reach up to 8 inches in length.