back to top

A Hawaii Man Found A Foot-Long Centipede, Killed It, And Then Mounted It To His Wall

Warning: This will give you nightmares.

Posted on

Meet Clayton Cambra. He is 65 years old and lives on the Big Island in Hawaii. Cambra is now retired, but he used to own a tannery and taxidermy shop in Fremont, California.

Cambra has always been "fascinated by ugly creatures," he told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald on Thursday.

So when he saw a giant, venomous centipede crawling around in the forest behind his house, he decided he had to capture the arthropod — with a bucket.

Clayton Cambra / Via Facebook

“He stood up in the 5-gallon bucket like a cobra. Standin’ right up,” Cambra told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. “He crawled out of that bucket four or five times before I got him here.”

He eventually managed to get the centipede inside a plastic bag and froze it in a freezer.

"Then after it died, I took it out and thawed it. And the next day, I put him on a piece of Styrofoam board and pinned him out and injected him with formaldehyde," Cambra said.

Advertisement

The centipede measures 14.5 inches from the front tip to the back, according to Cambra. He called it a "monster" in a Facebook post and said he believed it set a new world record.

Clayton Cambra / Via facebook.com

The current Guinness World Record for the largest centipede is 10 inches. It was a Peruvian giant yellow-leg centipede (Scolopendra gigantea) found in Venezuela. This venomous centipede feeds on mice, lizards, frogs, and bats.

Cambra would need to formally apply to set a record with the Guinness World Records. It's not clear if Cambra has done this, but BuzzFeed News has reached out for more information.

Dan Rubinoff, the director of the University of Hawaii Insect Museum, told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald that he believed the creature found by Cambra is a Vietnamese centipede (Scolopendra subspinipes).

Vietnamese centipedes are among the largest centipedes, and one of three types that have been introduced to Hawaii. The species has fast-acting venom that they use to kill prey, and usually attack insects and spiders, though they are aggressive enough that they will go after mice and reptiles.

A human bitten by a Vietnamese centipede should expect extreme pain and reddening around the bite; in rare cases, a Vietnamese centipede's bite has caused death, according to a report published in the Hawaii Journal of Medicine and Public Health.

Rubinoff added that Cambra's centipede was "the largest individual" he had seen of the species.

Cambra's centipede is displayed in his home in a room full of taxidermic creatures. His other specimens include a grizzly bear, a mountain lion, an arctic fox, a beaver, a raccoon, a skunk, as well as several deer, elk, boars, and numerous birds, including wild turkeys.

I’M SCREAMING!!! Hawaii man snags foot-long venomous centipede, preserves it https://t.co/c0FvnN3hz5

Cambra told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald that he has rejected a $1,000 offer for the centipede because he doesn't want to sell it. "If I get rid of it, I ain’t got it. I want to keep it," he said. "People collect all kinds of things. I know people on the computer collect these alive and keep 'em as pets."

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Honolulu.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at michelle@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.