September 1, 2005

Briton Finds Venomous Centipede in House

Aaron Balick expected to find a tiny mouse rustling behind the TV in his apartment. Instead, he found a venomous giant centipede that somehow hitched a ride from South America to Britain.

"Thinking it was a mouse, I went to investigate the sound. The sound was coming from under some papers which I lifted, expecting to see the mouse scamper away," the 32-year-old psychotherapist said Wednesday. "

Instead, when I lifted the papers, I saw this prehistoric looking animal skitter away behind a stack of books." He trapped the 9-inch-long creature between a stack of books and put it in a plastic container. The next day he took it to Britain's Natural History Museum, which identified the insect as a Scolopendra gigantea — the world's biggest species of centipede.

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