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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Touching This Spiky Caterpillar Will Make You Bleed To Death

When we see a caterpillar, we usually think of them as harmless little crawlies who spend most of their lives peacefully chewing chlorophyll-rich leaves until it's time for metamorphosis. Though we are not entirely wrong, there are some exceptions.

Like for example, this caterpillar which is primarily found in Brazil and called Lonomia obliqua is so poisonous that it can make a person bleed to death just through physical contact. Also known as the "assassin caterpillar", its body is covered with spiky branches which look like miniature trees. Each of those spiky branches is covered with a deadly venom. Once the venom enters the victim's bloodstream, it will cause excessive blood clotting resulting to death.

Touching This Spiky Caterpillar Will Make You Bleed To Death

Although brushing against just one of these caterpillars won't cause any harm, these caterpillars are usually found in bunches and that's where the danger becomes imminent. The venom accumulated in the bloodstream from brushing against a bunch of them causes disseminated intravascular coagulation. 

Moreover, aside from the venom found in the caterpillar's spikes, it was also discovered that its skin has potent anti-clotting agents which can cause internal bleeding.

What makes it worse is that the victims might not realize that they've been poisoned not until it's too late. Symptoms include bruising, swelling, pain, headache, and vomiting. The victim will run out of blood platelets within two days, resulting to death. The antidote for this caterpillar's poison is yet to be discovered.

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