The Invisible Centipede

The Invisible Centipede is a rare type of centipede found only in China and Japan.  It shares the same common traits as most centipedes, such as having venomous claws as well as an odd pair of legs.  This species of centipede in particular only grows to be a few millimeters in size on average.  Like its name suggests, the Invisible Centipede has an extremely advanced adaptation of camouflage, making it almost invisible to the naked eye.  This adaptation even puts chameleons to shame, making this species not only rare, but also nearly impossible to find on its own.  The last uniqueness this species has is its relation to humans.  The only recorded finding of an Invisible Centipede has been after it attacked a human.


This centipede has a few unique habits that make it dangerous and hard to protect against.  It is the only species of centipede that survives solely off the human body, much like a parasite.  It is also a nocturnal species, only looking for food at night.  The way its feeds is by burrowing into a humans arm during the night while they are sleeping, latching on to the nerves around the wrist area.  It feeds only on the nervous system and most the time cannot be felt entering the skin, but does leave a small red dot at the point of entry.  The symptoms causes by this feeding is the only way scientists have been able to find the centipede, but always only after it had begun feeding.  Once the centipede has begun feeding, it will not leave the person until it has either died, leaving behind eggs, or killed and removed by force.


After a centipede has latched onto the nervous system, the host will immediately start to lose sensation in that part of the body.  The most common area of sensation loss is in the hands, because the Invisible Centipede prefers to feed in the wrists of a person.  However, in extremely rare cases, scientists have discovered the centipede will accidentally target a person spine, at the top of the neck.  When this happens, a person loses all feeling, including pain, in their entire body.  This leads to most doctors diagnosing this as “congenital insensitivity to pain” where a person does not feel pain, when in reality it is the Invisible Centipede feeding off the host’s spine.


The very first recorded incident of the Invisible Centipede was in the Qinghai province in China, in 1473.  The ruler at the time, Bai Wang, lost feelings in both his hands, and continued to rule regardless of this handicap.  His servant at the time recorded that Bai Wang had noticed small red dots on his wrists after he started to lose sensation in his hands.  However, due to the lack of knowledge at the time, no one realized it was the Invisible Centipede till the mid 1900’s.

The next known sighting of this species of centipede wasn’t until 1946, shortly after WWII in Japan.  A Japanese doctor by the name of Sato Kanehara discovered multiple centipedes in a young boy who visited his clinic.  This was the first time the actual species of centipede had been seen and obtained for study after being removed from the boy.  It is this same doctor who gave the species its name.

Created by Cody Everard