Bioluminescent Millipedes: Even Nature Is Promoting Avatar 2

In some wild news, two guys named Scott Kemp and David Finlay might have unearthed a rad scientific discovery. This is because, in 2004, Kemp found a whack of glow-in-the-dark millipedes while bushwalking NSW’s Illawarra. Then, 14 years later, he teamed up with the photographer Finlay to catch them on camera. 

It’s worth noting that some millipedes are known to glow under UV light. However, being ‘bioluminescent‘, or naturally glowing in the dark, is unheard of in Australia. Kemp and Finlay’s millipedes might be an undocumented and native type of arthropod.

“I’m not aware of anything that’s been published on this,” said La Trobe University Entomologist, Dennis Black.

“I would say there’s very little chance they’re an introduced species, but a native species.”

The fact these species are undocumented was surprising to Kemp: “When I first encountered them, I just assumed everything was known about everything to be known.”

“I didn’t really think that I could discover anything new.”


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A post shared by David Finlay (@davefinlaydigital)

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What Are These Millipedes Called?

Black believes that these millipedes are a part of the Spirobolida family. However, it’ll probably be a while before these millipedes are classified and given some official identification. This is because there are no specialists in Australia that can classify these arthropods.

“There’s no one in Australia who works on this order, so we may not even be able to do their taxonomy,” said Black.

“Unfortunately, we’ve probably only described 20% of the millipede species in Australia and given them actual scientific names.”

Meanwhile, the aforementioned Kemp has joked that these bioluminescent millipedes should be named after him. He’s unofficially dubbed them as the ‘Scotty Luminus’ species. However, this name is just ridiculous. Instead, they should be called ‘Avatar 2 Electric Bluegaloos.’

These millipedes should be called “Avatar 2 Electric Bluegaloos” for the following reasons:

  1. These little dudes could cosplay in Avatar or Avatar 2.
  2. They’re blue, hence the word ‘Bluegaloo.’
  3. I’d really like this win. Please scientists, let me name the animal.

Thank you for your time.

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