Centipede discovered in caves 1,000 meters belowground

New-to-science arthropod named for Hades

Geophilus hadesi centipede

UNDERWORLD  This male Geophilus hadesi centipede was found over 1,000 meters belowground in a cave in Croatia. G. hadesi is the deepest-dwelling centipede yet discovered. 

P. Stoev et al/ZooKeys 2015 (CC BY 4.0)

A newly discovered centipede species takes extreme living to new depths.

Scientists discovered Geophilus hadesi more than 1,000 meters underground in damp, nearly freezing caves in central Croatia. The centipede is just under 3 centimeters long and has 33 pairs of legs, plus unusually long antennae. Researchers spotted one centipede at 1,100 meters deep — which breaks the record for deepest-dwelling centipede.

The new species was named after Hades, the Greek god of the underworld. One of the centipede’s close relatives is also known to live deep within caves: Geophilus persephones, named after Hades’ wife. 

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