My mother-in-law in FengYuan was telling us about these earthworms that are coming out of the ground around Nantou. Anyone heard about or seen this? Apparently this happened before the 9/99 quake.

Oh no… I’m terrified of earthquakes. Let’s see what Juba’s dog’s been up to.


Earthquakes are nothing. WORMS scare the HELL outta me!!! :shock: Has this been verified???

My TW mother-in-law has a thing about ants. Gatherings of more than two ants on street corners and she starts predicting earthquakes.

Of course, one of these days there really will be another earthquake and she will say, “See? I told u so” and everyone’s belief in the “animal seismograph” theory will be reinforced.

Saw a program on TV about it. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence about animals going potty before a quake, but there is just as much disconfirming (is that a word? :smiley: )evidence. A zookeeper on the show described how all of her animals were completely normal before a major quake.

Human psychology being what it is, people who want to prove a relationship tend to ignore negative findings like that.

Am I a skeptic or what :laughing: ?

In my house, for the past few weeks, there’s been an infestation of red worms that have about 200 legs! They are about 5 cm long, and they’re crawling on the floors, walls, and ceilings. They look very different from centipedes. In fact, they look just like earthworms except that their color is dark red and they have about 200 little legs (100 on each side). Does anyone know what these things are?

Look here to see a picture of one of them:


P.S. For some reason, it doesn’t work when you click on this link. So to see the picture, you have to copy and paste this address into the address line of your browser.

Spack, do you think that the animals in the zoo don’t react the same way that some animals have been observed doing so in the wild simply because they are in the zoo? I know nothing about this field but would love to hear more, particularly as we’re living in such a quake prone area.

Mark, it’s possible that animals in the zoo react differently to those in the wild, but captive animals still retain their basic instincts/senses don’t they?

Maybe some animals react to some kinds of quake and not others. I’m just speculating here! I don’t know much about the subject, but the anecdotal evidence I have heard/seen so far is less than convincing.

Having said that, if my house was suddenly full of creepy crawlies for no apparent reason, I’d be more inclined to think there was something in it. :smiley:

I’ve noticed that there are a lot of those red worm things around. I don’t take it as an omen, just nature doing it’s thing at different times of the year…

Surely that’s a millipede, not a worm ?

Yeah, I guess they are really centipedes or millipedes, but they’re weird because other than the 200 little legs and the two antennas, they look exactly like earthworms. (Well, also their color is a little redder than earthworms.)

Weird is when people asscociate earthworms with earthquakes … :unamused:

My home is constantly infested by all kinds of weird and wonderful little creatures (and I’m not talking about the xiaojies). Sometimes it’s the turn of the millipedes to make my place their convention centre – but they only crawl across the floors, and I’ve never seen any of them manage to even climb up a wall, let alone make it across the ceiling. And the ants mass in huge numbers in my kitchen, where I sometimes feed them little titbits (no, I’m still not referring to xiaojies) on the windowsill to curb their roving and keep them away from where they might get hurt (i.e. the sink, the wastebin, or underfoot).

I saw the biggest earthworm after the last rain that I have ever seen. It was about a foot and a half long and as thick as your finger. It was a whole meal in itself :slight_smile:

Speaking of house critters, I used to live just past the Hsinhai Tunnel and we used to get American whip scorpions (non-poisonous), and freshwater crabs walking across the living room floor. In the yard I found a couple of big snakes and one that I caught had fangs for injecting venom.
We also had an ant infestation and some form of crawling insect that invaded the outside walls of the apartment. We had to buy this white stuff to spead around the house.

“Even if all his life a fool associates with a wise man, he will not appreciate the truth, even as the spoon does not appreciate the flavor of the soup.”
The Buddha

AHA! So it WAS a whip scorpion that freaked me out all those years ago in Hsintien! Don’t know if mine was American, though. :wink:

By “American whip scorpion”, do you mean a smallish black scorpion with a thin, needle-like tail? That’s the only kind of scorpion I’ve seen here, and they seem to be very common. I’ve had dozens of them in my various flats in New Garden City, especially when I lived on the ground floor. They have a very strong smell, so you always know when there’s one around. I’ve never felt that they constitute a threat, as they move very slowly and don’t seem able to climb up walls or, most importantly, climb into beds.

The things that scare the shit out of me are the big centipedes, the six- to eight-inch long specimens. I’ve had a couple of those in my apartments, and they give me nightmares. An American guy I knew here a few years back got bitten on the finger by one while he was asleep in his apartment on the 9th floor in Mucha. He said it was the most agonizing pain he’d ever experienced and his finger swelled up enormously. He showed us the pair of holes in his still badly swollen finger the next day. And ever since then, I’ve always checked under my pillows and duvet before I get into bed. A Chinese guy living on the second floor of my building also got bitten by one while he was in bed. It was apparently a much smaller one, but he said it hurt like hell.

Last year, when Taiphoon Nari was just beginning to dump rain on us (I don’t know if there was any connection), I went into my bathroom and saw a mass of small centipedes squirming out from a hole in the wall where a cowboy plumber had fixed a leaking pipe but not properly repaired the brickwork and tiles. I killed them all with scalding water, and spent the next few hours constantly going back into the bathroom to pick off others that followed them out in ones and twos. I had awful visions of them spreading out through my flat, hiding in all the dark corners and crevices, growing into big life-threatening monsters, and preying on me in the night.


Yep, that’s the one. Totally harmless. Emits a strong vinegar odor if disturbed, thus the name, vinagaroon.

Yes, that’s it! What a mine of information you are. How nice to be able to give it a name – and impress the xiaojie the next time a little vinegarroon pops in for a visit.

I’m also glad to know it’s harmless. It makes me feel very guilty about the ones I killed in the past when I first encountered them, but now I know I can pick them up, stroke them, nuzzle their ever-so-cute little faces, and deposit them safely outside.