Here at the Twisty Arthropod Lab we have a particular fondness for centipedes. As famed arthropod scientist J. L. Cloudsley-Thompson remarked, “centipedes seem to exert a weird fascination on the morbid appetites of the hysterical and insane.” [cite]
This is Scolopendra heros, the Giant Red-Headed Centipede. It is a formidable entity, as venomous as it looks. Fortunately, this one is dead.
I say fortunately, because I collected the specimen in the Twisty bunkhouse, just a few feet from the old TempurPedic; had it been alive — well, I can only speculate what screaming and flailing might have transpired had I awakened to feel it centipeding along my face. Supposedly S. heros can perforate human skin with its feet, depositing poison in the wounds, which ultimately results in agonizing death. Such accounts may be apocryphal, but I have no desire to find out first hand.
Hysterical and insane or no, when you see one of these bad boys snuggled in your rug at 2 in the morning you jump about 47 feet in the air, guaranteed.