Any certified gifted kid can tell you that “millipede” means “thousand feet,” deriving from the Latin mille (“thousand”) and pes (“foot”). Thus, it stands to reason that all millipedes — those creepy-crawly little anthropods — have a thousand feet. However, I’m sorry to tell you that if you arrived at this logical conclusion, you are dead wrong and an idiot to boot, for there has never before been a single millipede known to have a thousand feet.
Until now. 😎
Scientists discovered the first true-to-its-name millipede, the Eumillipes persephone (named after the Latin word for “true millipede” as well as the Greek goddess Persephone), in Western Australia, according to a paper published Thursday in Scientific Reports. The leggiest specimen that the scientists reeled up from deep underground boasted a pale complexion, an eyeless cone-shaped head, a feeding beak, and 1,306 legs — nearly twice as many as 750, which is the highest number of legs that had previously been discovered in a millipede.
“It’s as if you pulled a 3-inch white thread from a shirt (but it had 1,306 legs),” Paul Marek, a lead author of the study and an associate professor of entomology at Virginia Tech, told CNN.
And you want to know the most heartwarming thing about this discovery? The 1,306-legged creature was female. You go, Ms. Persephone! Women really can have it all (an abundance of hair-raising disgusting little legs).