Creepy-crawly: True millipede with over 1,000 legs found in Australia

The millipede, boasting a grand total of 1,306 legs, has more legs than any other animal on Earth.

 The first true millipede—1,306 legs long. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The first true millipede—1,306 legs long.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A true millipede has finally been discovered, a new study has revealed, with an arthropod discovered boasting a grand total of 1,306 legs - more than any other animal on Earth and giving new meaning to the phrase "creepy-crawly." 

The millipede belongs to a new species dubbed Eumillipes persephone, the first half literally meaning true millipede and the second word referring to Persephone, the Greek goddess of the underworld, as revealed in a new article published in the peer-reviewed academic journal Scientific Reports.

Though called millipedes, a name that literally means "a thousand feet," until now, no millipede with more than 750 legs had ever been discovered. Until now, the record holder for the most amount of legs was Illacme plenipes, a Californian millipede species.

The discovery of Eumillipes persephone changes that.

The species, found in a mining area drill hole 60 meters underground in Australia's Eastern Goldfields Province, are eyeless with short legs and have long-threadlike bodies with around 330 segments.

 Millipede (illustrative). (credit: PIXABAY) Millipede (illustrative). (credit: PIXABAY)

These millipedes were also found to be around 0.95 millimeters wide and 95.7 millimeters long with a beak and antennae topping their cone-shaped heads.

Most millipedes have little to no impact on human life. However, the inverse is not true, with human actions altering habitats affecting millipedes, like so many other animals.

The scientists behind the study, as a result, have worried about the mining in the area, and advise that its underground habitat should be conserved.