06 December 2010

Is the "Minhocão" just a millipede ?

The Minhocão is a cryptid that reportedly inhabits the forests and jungles of South America.  Here's a report from about 20 years ago from a Peruvian rainforest:
She told me she was walking by herself in the jungle and saw what she initially thought was a large, black snake moving through the leaves on the forest floor. She then noticed it had armoured plates and may have had numerous small legs. Both my mother and I are aware that there are giant centipedes in that region, but the size of it does not match up. She described it as being well over one foot thick and never saw its head nor tail even though she observed it for several minutes. She guessed it must have been at least twenty feet long.
The world's longest (known) millipedes are only a little over one foot long. Further commentary at Fortean Times.

Related:  The Mongolian Death-Worm.
Photo source (where there are other pix of Giant Millipedes).

7 comments:

  1. My son had a science video about the huge insects of the carboniferous period in which they stated that such large insects and spiders could not exist today because the air lacks sufficient oxygen.

    These animals don't have lungs, but instead absorb oxygen through their skin. The larger the creature, the higher concentration of oxygen is needed.

    My guess is that the lady saw a snake.

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  2. I would guess the same thing, Paul, and in all fairness the Fortean Times piece does conclude: "Moreover, for fundamental physiological reasons, no known spec­ies of terrestrial arthropod attains anything even remotely approaching those dimensions."

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  3. Binho (from Brazil)December 7, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    The ending of the word "ão" suggests that it is a word in Portuguese.
    "ÃO" is one of the augmentative termination for words and in South America, in Brazil alone is spoken portugues.Os other countries are Spanish speaking.

    exemple

    In English : big foot
    in Portuguese = pé(foot)zÂo = pézão

    in spanish language the termination of the words augmentative is in "ion" , for exemple :
    Nação = Nacion = Country

    Minhocão = Big earthworm


    Minhocão would be a Brazilian name ?

    Hugs for you

    PS = Sorry my english

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  4. Binho (from Brazil)December 7, 2010 at 11:21 AM

    In São(San)Paulo - Brazil , there is an overpass, famous, known as Minhocão.

    http://www.google.com.br/images?hl=pt-BR&rlz=1T4GGLR_pt-BRBR307BR307&q=minhoc%C3%A3o+s%C3%A3o+paulo&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=vWz-TNvuMsKAlAeki9W9CA&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CCoQsAQwAA&biw=1251&bih=563

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  5. Interesting, Binho. The pix I can find on the web suggest that it does look a little like a large worm/snake winding through the city.

    Thanks!

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  6. #1) That bug skeeves me.

    #2) That's a man's hand. With long, painted, pointed fingernails.

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  7. We used to have one as a pet, actually. They are really sweet. I used to bathe it (they have tiny mites on them, and too many of them bother the millipede). When it munched on apples - you could hear it go "scrape, scrape".
    But then it died. :(

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