Please don't be a Ceti Eel
August 19, 2013 1:50 PM   Subscribe

Woken up from sleep with a worm/larvae crawling on my eyelid. What was it!?

Sadly I have no photos but will try and explain as thoroughly as possible.

Was recently staying in the attic of an antique (early 18th century) home on an island off the coast of southern New England. (left out for privacy reasons - but there are only a few of them). I was asleep in this attic underneath the exposed antique wood ceiling/roof. I suddenly woke up with my hand reaching for my eyelid where I discovered something crawling on there. It was cold, felt very solid, could not tell the texture but it did not feel slimy or fuzzy if that helps. Was maybe two inches long and 1/2 inch or a little bigger in diameter. When I grabbed it I felt a stinging sensation on my face. I tossed it across the room. I then tried looking for it on the ground but couldn't find it. I checked my bed and the roof over my head for any signs of more of these things but didn't.

A day and a half later I had a red welt on my face from where it was in contact with me. It healed very quickly though.

The thing that stood out to me was how cold it felt and how um strong it felt. When I grabbed the bug it reacted and I could feel it really trying to get out of my grasp.

Thats all I have. More curious than anything I guess. Glad I woke up when I did.
posted by WickedPissah to Science & Nature (9 answers total)
posted by JujuB at 1:54 PM on August 19, 2013

posted by yohko at 1:56 PM on August 19, 2013

My wild guess is a Saddleback Caterpillar, although I don't think they grow to 2 inches...
posted by pipeski at 1:56 PM on August 19, 2013

Maybe it was a millipede. We have them all over our property (in Oregon) and they definitely fit all the criteria you mention. I have plucked one off of me while sleeping. They definitely are cold and solid and strong. I've never been stung by one, but that article makes it sound like that's not outside the realm of possibility.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:03 PM on August 19, 2013

I'm guessing millipede or centimeter too.
posted by fshgrl at 2:04 PM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Pace rabbitrabbit, did your welt look like this?
posted by en forme de poire at 2:31 PM on August 19, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks everyone.

I don't think it could have been a leach.

As for the welt, it just looked like a raw spot and was pretty confined to a small area next to my nose just under my eye, in the shape of the bug.

I did not feel any spines on the bug, just the coldness of it and the fairly hard exterior but not a shell from what I can remember.

My thinking was that it dropped out of the wood roof. Does anyone out there know of any wood boring larvae that would fit the bill?

Maybe a saddleback larva but in my mind it felt bigger.
posted by WickedPissah at 5:29 PM on August 19, 2013

My first guess was an earwig. While the pincers aren't dangerous, IIRC they can give you a decent little nip, especially, I'd imagine, somewhere sensitive like an eyelid.

(Based on earwigs being "cold and solid", nippy, and an insect that frequently shows up in totally random parts of the home environment.)
posted by threeants at 10:32 PM on August 19, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks but don't think it was an earwig. It was definitely a worm of some sort and the stinging was across the whole body of the thing not just one small pinch.
posted by WickedPissah at 7:33 AM on August 20, 2013

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