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Nature & Environment

Millipede invasion causes train wreck

By T.K. Randall
September 8, 2013 · Comment icon 6 comments



The millipedes had gathered on the rails. Image Credit: CC 2.0 Easa Shamih
An invasion of millipedes in Australia is believed to have been responsible for a train crash.
Considered invasive pests, black Portuguese millipedes were introduced in to the country in 1953 and have been making a nuisance of themselves ever since. When threatened the insects secrete hydrogen cyanide that can be particularly nasty if it comes in to contact with the skin or eyes.
In the case of the recent train crash north of Perth, officials believe that large numbers of the critters had accumulated on the railway and were responsible for causing the train to slip of the tracks.

"Millipedes are one of the factors we are going to take into account," said transport authority spokesman David Hynes. "What happened in previous instances is trains which were traveling at speed have gone over an infestation, crushed them and made the tracks slimy."

Source: Live Science | Comments (6)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by ancient astronaut 9 years ago
That must have been a shitload of bugs. Wild stuff.
Comment icon #2 Posted by susieice 9 years ago
It would cause a train wreck around here cause I hate those things. They bite too.
Comment icon #3 Posted by deslin 9 years ago
That's. Just. Gross. Period.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Lava_Lady 9 years ago
Ugh... bug guts... that stink an stain, by the millions. Gross to the nth degree.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Mantis914 9 years ago
I've kept numerous millipedes and have ever had one bite me or spray me with any defensive secretions. It's all in how you handle them...
Comment icon #6 Posted by Whatsinausername 9 years ago
So what you're saying is that you shouldn't handle them with a train?


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