Terrifying creature found in Aussie home: 'Not sleeping tonight'

The discovery gives new meaning to the term 'creepy crawly'.

A creature that looks like it crawled straight out of a horror movie has left people recoiling in fear after it was found on the wooden floor of an Aussie house. Fortunately, there could be some benefits to finding one in your home.

"This is a species of house centipede," Dr Chris Burrell, senior scientist and curator of entomology at the Queensland Museum, told Yahoo News Australia. "They have whip-like antennae and 15 pairs of jointed legs that become progressively longer towards the rear of the body. The last pair of legs are so long they resemble the antennae."

House centipede on wooden floorboard
The alien-looking centipede has terrified Aussies. Photo: Reddit/KonosNik

Burrell went on to explain that the creatures are predators that feed on "insects and other invertebrates" and are the "fastest-moving centipedes". While he says they can be found in most habitats, "from forests to grasslands, hiding under rocks and logs during the day", they also inhabit urban areas.

According to the Australian Museum, the centipede is mostly found along the country's east and south coast, being native to Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, with a smaller population in Western Australia, where the one pictured was found this week.

Centipede could be an asset to our home

While house centipedes can bite and cause pain similar to a bee sting, they're generally considered harmless to humans. In fact, it can be beneficial to have them around if you'd prefer to keep the creepy crawly population in your home to a minimum. "They feed on insects, which we consider pests, such as silverfish, bed bugs, termites and cockroaches," the Australian Museum's expert Ciaran Mathewson previously told Yahoo. "They are nocturnal hunters and will chase their prey, moving at very fast speeds of up to 10 body lengths per second."

Map of Australia showing where house centipedes are found
House centipedes are most commonly found along the east and south coasts of Australia. Photo: Australia Museum

Aussies 'freak out' over creature

"Most people seem to freak out when they see them," Warren Bailey, director of ABC Pest Control, told Yahoo of house centipedes, known scientifically as Scutigera coleoptrata. Judging by the reaction to this one found in Perth, he's not wrong.

"This is next-level terrifying. Not sure if I want to live in Australia anymore," commented one Reddit user on the photo of the house centipede, while another quipped, "Thanks, I'm not sleeping tonight." Others described the animal as an "abomination" and "nightmare fuel".

Love Australia's weird and wonderful environment? Get our new weekly newsletter showcasing the week's best stories.