When the rains come, the Millipedes (Atta in Malayalam language) get really active in Kerala...
They look more threatening than they actually are. Here are some trivia I got from wikipedia:
- Millipedes do not bite, and their defensive secretions are mostly harmless to humans – usually causing only minor discoloration on the skin – but the secretions of some tropical species may cause pain, itching and occasionally cracked skin.
- Many species also emit various foul-smelling liquid secretions through microscopic ozopores, along the sides of their bodies as a secondary defence. These secretions may include alkaloids, benzoquinones, phenols, terpenoids, and/or hydrogen cyanide, among many others.
- Some can result in home invasions, crop damage, train delays, or even train crashes and derailments.
- Some of the larger millipedes are popular as pets.
- Millipedes also appear in folklore and traditional medicine around the world. In the Yoruba culture of Nigeria, millipedes are used in pregnancy and business rituals, and crushed millipedes are used to treat fever, whitlow, and convulsion in children.
- In Zambia, smashed millipede pulp is used to treat wounds, and in the Bafia people of Cameroon millipede juice is used to treat earaches.
- In certain Himalayan Bhotiya tribes, dry millipede smoke is used to treat hemorrhoids.
- Native people in Malyasia use millipede secretions in poison-tipped arrows.
- The only reported usage of millipedes as food by humans comes from the Bobo people of Burkina Faso, who consume boiled, dried millipedes in tomato sauce.