scorpion feature
By Lauren Wong

First of all, I’d like to say that this idea I came up with to go out on a search for scorpions completely backfired. I’m over here reading all these articles on how common it is to find scorpions and what to do when they sting you, etc. I’d dismiss every warning, I hadn’t seen one, so they can’t really be as scary and common as everyone says… right? 

Less than a week later, I’m relaxing, choosing what to watch on TV when I notice my cat is off in the corner of my apartment sniffing at something. I called his name and he turned and simultaneously cried out. A scorpion, IN MY APARTMENT, stung my poor kitty. (He is okay).

Now, when I lived at home, I had to make my parents kill any spider or bug that was in my room. It was midnight here, and 2 a.m. back in Chicago where my family lives. I call my mom in a panic, waking her up, telling her I can’t kill it. I stood there, physically shaking, my shoe in hand, hovering over this creepy, disgusting, lobster looking thing for what felt like at least five minutes before I got the courage to kill it. 

I guess I asked for it.

Anyways, I got the idea in my head that I wanted to go out looking for them, and once I decided that, there was no turning back. I ordered myself a blacklight flashlight on Amazon and dragged my friend along with me. 

I read that they like to hide under rocks, so of course, I needed a shovel. I took a part of my broom and a part of my vacuum and tapped them together creating myself this makeshift shovel. (It was so flimsy it couldn’t even flip over the smallest rocks… so I’d suggest investing in some other materials).

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I dressed up in long pants, long socks, and a long sleeve shirt, the weather still in the nineties, but it gave me that little sense of security I needed. Even though I don’t think wearing leggings will stop you from getting stung. I packed my bag with my camera, blacklight, pepper spray, and a boot I had (just in case). Then we took our homemade shovel and headed out. 

Our chosen destination was the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. The preserve closes at sundown, but we parked along the side of the road by one of the trailheads. We were too scared to actually go on the trails anyways so we looked along the side of the road. 

We ended up seeing three scorpions. I was amazed how they just popped up out of nowhere, a luminescent bright green as soon as the light hit them. Amazed, but also it gave me the heebeegeebees and the feeling that something was constantly crawling on me. Overall, it was a fun little adventure.

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Some Random Scorpion Facts:

  • Fossils show that scorpions have existed since the Carboniferous period. That dates them back 300 – 350 million years ago. (That means they were alive before the dinosaurs)!
  • They can survive an entire year without food, and can stay underwater for up to 48 hours.
  • Scorpions “dance” before mating known as a promenade à deux. 
  • After the mother delivers her babies, they live on her back until they molt.
  • Over 2,000 species of scorpions exist (they’re found on every continent except Antarctica). 
  • They can run up to 12 mph
  • The longest scorpion recorded is that of the rock scorpion of South Africa measuring just over 8 inches in length
  • In West Africa, Myanmar, and East Asia scorpions are served as food