Thai man dies after swallowing live centipede
A Thai gardener died shortly after swallowing a live centipede while he was intoxicated.
Wansadej Kongkul, 39, a grounds keeper at a high school in Khon Kaen city, 340 kilometres north-east of Bangkok, allegedly ate the centipede Monday after the insect bit him on the finger while he was cutting grass, Police Captain Suphatannachai Naphasakul said.
"His friend said Wansadej asked him for some water to clean the centipede off, then popped it in his mouth," Suphatannachai said.
"After 20 minutes, Wansadej threw up, so his friend made him lie down in a shed. When he came back in two hours Wasadej was a greenish colour and dead," the police officer said by telephone.
Both men had been drinking before the incident. "We are performing an autopsy to confirm whether it was the centipede that killed him," Suphatannachai said.
Centipedes are believed to have medicinal value among some Thais and Thai-Chinese. A medicinal product, once popular, is rice wine with a dead centipede inside, believed to be a sexual stimulant and immunity enhancer.Authors: Somchai Kwankijswet and Peter Janssen