Scientists discover millipede with 750 legs that will haunt your nightmares

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Look, I'm all for biodiversity, but 750 legs? That's too damned many. First discovered in 1926, lllacme plenipes was thought lost until it was spotted again in 2006. Now this millipede has been fully described in the open access journal ZooKeys, and suffice to say, the prospect of 375 pairs of legs gives me the heebie jeebies.

lllacme plenipes has only been found in one tiny spot, San Juan Bautista in Northern California, where it can live in a specific combination of fog and sandy soil and oak forests. The only member of its family in the Western Hemisphere, its name literally means "in highest fulfillment of feet". Females can have up to 750 legs, and males reach just 562. That video above? Why, that one only has 662 legs, well short of the record.


Not content with having hundreds of tiny little legs, I. plenipes has some other pretty remarkable adaptations, too. Because it lives in the dark, it lacks eyes and has huge antennae. It has a rudimentary fused mouth, evolved to pierce and suck fungi and plants for sustenance, as well as packing body hairs that create silk.

Great, more legs than I can count, probing antennae, and an eyeless face that sucks the life out of things. I know what's going to be skittering through my nightmares tonight.