Fear + centipedes = chilopodophobia. Hmm… what else?

Me and a thing: And what should I name this thing, I wonder?
Me and a thing: And what should I name this thing, I wonder?Courtesy JGordon
Hey Buzzketeers. I have to apologize—I understand that some of you set your watches and schedule your insulin injections by JGordon’s regular postings… and here I am, contributing nothing to the Buzz in, what, over a week? Yes, over a week.

So I’m sorry. I hope you all have support networks that helped you set your watches and administer insulin. I have some good excuses though. Seriously.

Excuse A: JGordon has been working through some personal issues. I think we’re all close enough now that I can elaborate on this a little bit. I mean, it’s complicated, of course, but the long and short of it is that my grandmother hit me in the head with a hammer. She’s way old, and can’t swing a hammer worth carp, but still… it’s more of a trust thing. Knowing that someone who loves you would smack you in the noggin with a claw hammer given the chance… It’s a lot to deal with, OK?

Excuse B: I’m on vacation, remember? (Sort of. Dealing with the hammer attack has made this feel a lot less like a vacation. Technically a vacation still, though.) It turns out that I’m in Hawaii, and it turns out that Hawaii has all sorts of interesting sciencey things. And it turns out that I have a little video camera with me. And while it turns out that I haven’t felt much like video taping my vacation, it also turns out that I can’t go very long without things getting a little sciencey. Quasi-sciencey, at least.

So let’s see… how do I get this thing to work… is this the right button?

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Thor's picture
Thor says:

Hey JGordon....very Blair Witch Project-y, in a good way! Seeing as the centipede is a non-native species, I'm all in favor of its quick and dirty elimination. Certainly don't bring it back to Minnesota, we've got enough non-natives to dea with already. Oh, and more more thing, are you sure that's apple juice you've been drinking?

posted on Wed, 04/08/2009 - 8:16am
AdeleB's picture
AdeleB says:

Hey John,
I LOVED seeing the Scolopendra. We have 'em in Texas. They are no bigger there, really, although we like to think they are. Its possible to keep them as pets without all the muss and fuss of feeding and watering. You just put them out near your house and let them feed and water themselves. of course, you can't reliably find them again to check on them but that's kind of a plus, don't you think?

posted on Wed, 04/08/2009 - 10:17am
Centigal's picture
Centigal says:

Hey JGordon. Your centipede looks a little sleepy in that last shot.

posted on Wed, 04/08/2009 - 10:13pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is one LGordon?

Hi Mom.

I think he was more overwhelmed than sleepy. I put him in a jug full of dirt later (after I finished the apple juice), and he buried himself. I think he's just waiting for me to let my guard down.

posted on Thu, 04/09/2009 - 1:16am
Centigal's picture
Centigal says:

Put him under an avocado tree and let him grow to a size to consume a feral piglet or two. I saw one once that was about, and I do not exaggerate here, at least 7" long. I set a 5 gallon bucket full of water on him, thinking it would crush him. Not so. I went for a hammer. (It must run in the family.) I had to smack him several exoskeleton crunching times before he ceased moving.
I feel sort of bad admitting this in print, but I think of it as a natural selection deal. Centipedes that evolve in such a way that they can find their way indoors die. That's fair, right?

posted on Thu, 04/09/2009 - 9:16am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Mom!!! You're not supposed to call me John! I'm JGordon! Oh my God, I am so embarrassed. I swear, you're trying to ruin my life!

posted on Sat, 04/11/2009 - 5:15am
Nerds are awesome!'s picture
Nerds are awesome! says:

Wow, dude... I feel sorry for you!

posted on Sat, 04/11/2009 - 11:58am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

who posted this anyways

posted on Sat, 04/11/2009 - 4:59pm
Jean's picture
Jean says:

Weird, I always thought you were a woman.

posted on Thu, 04/09/2009 - 7:59pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

You're not the first, Jean.

posted on Thu, 04/09/2009 - 8:02pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

that was a very bad time for them

posted on Fri, 04/10/2009 - 11:57am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

In many ways, yes, it was. What?

posted on Sat, 04/11/2009 - 5:26am
Ricks's picture
Ricks says:

Thank you, so much for this post.

I have been Chilopodophobic for my entire life and to have you give me the word for it has... helped. So, if my friends call and I'm crying, I no longer have to say "There was a centipede on the wall three feet away from me and it scared me," I can simply say, "I am Chilopodophic... it's an anxiety disorder." and they likely won't ask further questions.

I say I'm phobic, because I am afraid enough to have been held hostage in my bathroom, by two centipedes. One of them was on the wall, about two feet away from the door and I could not bring myself to walk toward it in order to walk out the door. I jumped up on the rim of the bathtub and stayed up there, frozen in fear for about 20 minutes... then I got a spraybottle of god knows what, and sprayed it in the general direction of said centipede. When he began moving, I hid behind the wall, as if he could kill me by looking at me... yep. So, I looked out again and he was gone... and it still took me another ten minutes to get up the courage to bolt out of the bathroom.

Before entering my bathroom, I need to move every curtain with the broom, from a great distance away, just to make sure that there aren't any centipedes, there. I am afraid to go into my closet at night, because I saw a centipede there... once.

I will spray them with scrubbing bubbles to kill them, but afterward, I cannot touch the dead body, as I am still afraid of it, even when it is dead.

I had to look away from the screen whenever you showed the macro view of the centipede in your video.

My mother frequently laughs at me.

The ones with the shorter legs don't get to me AS much, but still get to me BADLY. The ones I usually see have REALLY long legs, run really fast and have the ability to spontaneously drop off of a wall that they're crawling on.

posted on Wed, 05/06/2009 - 6:40pm
Roxanne's picture
Roxanne says:

OMG I feel so sorry for you. I don't know if you will ever get to see this but I too have a HUGE fear of centipedes and millipedes. My mom laughs and taunts me also. The type of fear that I fell almost makes my chest hurt so much that I feel like I'm having a heart attack...,..seriously. I have been trying to research these awful creatures cause they have invaded our home. But mine don't have the long legs u describe. If they did I'd be in the mental institution. Probably heavily sedated.

posted on Sat, 07/23/2011 - 10:09pm
Xvall's picture
Xvall says:

You are a badass. Btw I love pedes. The tails aren't stingers, though. The "stingers" are the fangs, which secrete the venom, though It's not likely to be hazardous (tough hella painful for the bigger ones) to humans. You're cool for not just killing it pointlessly. By the way it would probably just eat the baby bird.

posted on Sun, 10/04/2009 - 4:13am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Oh, I'm blushing.

Yeah, I figured out later that the little tail/back legs weren't stingers. That's what happens when you (I) make assumptions about something you (I) know next to nothing about, I guess.

Baby bird—thought so. Fortunately, I didn't have any baby birds on hand.

I thought about killing it, but I already named him (Wilhelm, for his curly whiskers), and I couldn't bring myself to do it. So I kept him around for a few days, and then just released him... next to what turned out to be a preschool. Whoops.

posted on Sun, 10/04/2009 - 5:47pm

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