- Not Exactly Rocket Science
If you see a glowing millipede, best not to bite it
If you go down to the woods of California today, you might be in for a big surprise. At night, the forests crawl with sinuous shapes that glow with an eerie greenish-blue colour. They are Motyxia millipedes and they shine brightly whenever they’re disturbed. “If you go to the right forest and you let your eyes get adjusted to the night, then you can see them everywhere,” says Paul Marek from the University of Arizona. Some big oak tress can shelter 1 glowing millipede in every square metre. They look like fields of stars.
There are around 12,000 known species of millipedes, and only the eight Motyxia species glow. Marek says, “[They] would definitely be on my top 10 for