Baggage check uncovers 600 scorpions
Read the news long enough and you begin to wonder if there are more nut jobs in the world than normal folk.
Once in a blue moon, though, someone special comes along – someone who raises the bar for bizarre behavior.
Today’s candidate is a Chinese man who was found to have more than 600 Manchurian scorpions in his luggage during a routine baggage check after flying into the Italian city of Florence.
Approximately half of the scorpions, which can grow to 2-1/2 inches, were still alive, according to Agence France-Presse.
In all, the unnamed Chinese traveler had 607 Manchurian scorpions, which were packed into plastic boxes with ice, the daily newspaper La Repubblica reported.
The surviving arachnids were sent to a special center while the unnamed Chinese man was charged with keeping dangerous animals.
According to the wire service, the Manchurian scorpion is prized in China both as a food and as an ornament because of its gold-colored shell.
In addition, it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for many centuries to treat various neuronal problems, such as chronic pain, paralysis, apoplexy and epilepsy.
Its venom is not generally fatal, Agence France-Presse helpfully added.
However, one may suppose that the venom of, say, 600 or so Manchurian scorpions, were they to get loose in an enclosed area – such as the cabin of an airplane – could prove very fatal.
After spending the better part of five decades of tromping through the outdoors, catching pretty much everything that couldn’t crawl, fly, slither and swim away fast enough, there’s not much in the natural world that gives me the heebie-jeebies.
Scorpions, though, make my skin crawl.
Maybe it’s the weird way they move, the hideous stinging tail that comes up from behind, the nasty looking pincers or just their overall repulsive appearance, but I’d rather poke a stick at a dozen Copperheads than tangle with a single scorpion.
(Above: Manchurian scorpion. Photo credit: Wikipedia.)