Every year, scientists discover tens of thousands of new creatures, most of which are cuddly and/or wuddly. However, every once in a while we uncover a species so vile and so contrary to all that we consider precious and good that it makes us seriously wonder if all this exploration nonsense is worth the hassle. Horrors such as ...
5A Hot-Pink Millipede That Oozes Cyanide
Most millipedes are not particularly adorable. They're a little disgusting, but they're not terribly threatening. They're just kinda ... there, waiting to gross out schoolgirls or be eaten by birds. Except, of course, for the shocking pink dragon millipede. Woe be to the bird that comes near one of these bastards. Woe be to any animal, honestly. The thing isn't hot pink because it likes doing K in a dark warehouse while wearing fur boots -- the bright color is a warning that this son of a bitch secretes cyanide.
When you secrete poison, then you can decide what color to associate that with. For now: Barbie pink.
It was first discovered in 2007, and scientists quickly learned that the shocking pink dragon millipede, while looking like a half-chewed piece of Laffy Taffy, was anything but sweet and tasty. It does have a pleasant, almond-like smell to it, but that's just because it has a series of defensive glands that ironically spew almond-scented cyanide. You might remember cyanide as one of the deadliest poisons on Earth, and one of the last things you should ever let near your skin.
Greater Mekong Programme/WWF International
In entomology, much like in dealing with passengers on a city bus, spiky pink hair pretty much means "Keep your distance."
This is a creature so potent and dangerous that, although it does have a Latin name (Desmoxytes purpurosea), even the man who discovered it uses the casual name. As Henrik Enghoff explained, "We think that such an unusually colored, conspicuous millipede deserves more than a Latin name and suggest calling it 'the shocking pink dragon millipede.'" Man, even Tyrannosaurus rex couldn't swing "giant roaring sharp-toothed death lizard." That's some serious science street cred right there.