Over the lustrous green landscapes of Uthai Thani province of Thailand, a vibrant revelation has seized the attention of biodiversity enthusiasts – a shocking pink millipede has been spotted! This discovery has been made by none other than the esteemed Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP). This not so ordinary sight holds a significant implication; it signals an abundance of the arthropod creature in the region.
Quick to share their captivating find, DNP broadcasted a video of the shocking pink millipede on their official Facebook page November 12. The millipede parked its vibrant magenta glory, casting an almost surreal spectacle for the viewers. Resembling a more fantastical version of a centipede, the arthropod’s many legs undulated like a wave on the video as it ambled along the ground.
Surprise, surprise, the shocking pink millipede is no nomadic creature; it is endemic to Thailand. ThaiRath has reported that the creature only shimmers into the limelight once a year. As the rainy season gives way to the cool air and the enigmatic millipede comes to visit. It makes its grand annual appearance only to leave with the passing of its lifecycle–and promises to return the subsequent year.
This dazzling visitor to Thailand is scientifically known as desmoxtyes purprosea and dragon millipede. It was first introduced to the scientific community by Professor Somsak Panha, from Chulalongkorn University, in 2007 at the same location it was discovered this year. The International Institute of Species Exploration (IISE) at Arizona State University in the United States was so amazed by this unusual creature that they listed it at the third position in the top ten new species list in 2008.
Not only is the shocking pink millipede a sight to behold, but it also holds unique attributes. Grown ups can stretch up to a formidable 7 centimetres and more surprising is its cyanide-filled venom glands. Fortunately for us, the cyanide toxins are not strong enough to pose a significant threat to us, though touching is not advised.
Due, perhaps, to worries about the safety of the creature, the exact location of the millipedes was initially kept a secret among Thai scientists and academics. Unsurprisingly, the creatures have found themselves in the crosshairs of animal trafficking gangs, with a hefty price of 1,500 baht each.
Despite the exciting presence of the shocking pink millipede, the Hup Pa Tat limestone in Uthai Thani province is no stranger to being a popular tourist destination. Not only is it home to these fascinating creatures, but it’s also a living time capsule possessing early land plants and offering wildlife enthusiasts the occasional sight of a rare serow at night.