You’ve been lost in the desert for days,
and you know that you desperately need something to eat. That burger joint over there is just
a mirage. You drag yourself to the weak shade of a straggly tree and out from under a rock
crawls…a scorpion. Yum! Wait — you can’t believe you’re considering it…but –how
bad could it be?? No time to be a picky eater…scorpions are
packed full of protein—just what you need! You’d like to avoid those claws, though;
how hard can they pinch?? And that stinger! Just how venomous are these things?? You’re
looking at a predatory arachnid here; yes, arachnid—like a spider! So there are 8 legs
to deal with. The least of your worries are the claws, or pincers. Scorpions can pinch,
but you should be more worried about the poisonous stinger; a sting is way more painful—and
dangerous—than a pinch. There are over 1,500 species of scorpions,
but you’re in the desert, so you’re probably dealing with the Common Desert Scorpion. It’s
a brownish-yellow color, and it might have brown hairs on it. This scorpion uses those
hairs to pick up vibrations from the air and ground to find food. It likes to eat other
desert bugs, lizards, and beetles. You see the bulb-shaped end of the tail? This is the
gland that holds its venom—and the stinger’s right on top. Whew!
Now I think your best bet would be to cook it, but you don’t have that option right
now. Minutes pass, and you’re getting more and more hungry. How big is it?? It looks
to be about 5 ½ inches long. Would you even be able to swallow it?? Sounds like a choking
hazard. But you need those calories and the protein. And there’s an endless supply of
scorpions in the desert. But you have to catch one first.
During the day, you do some detective work and look for holes in the sand around the
rock to see if scorpions have burrowed there. Yes! This means there’s a scorpion den under
the rock. To catch one, though, you’re going to have to wait until dark. Why?? Most scorpions
glow under a UV light! Luckily, you have one. Doesn’t everyone who’s stranded in the
desert have a UV light? Just bear with me…. Next, you need to set a trap. Around the perimeter
of the rock, or near the holes, dig a hole large enough to set a cup in, and pack the
sand tight around the opening. Eventually, during the night, the scorpions will leave
their den, and a few of them should fall into the opening. You wait patiently, and keep
watch with your UV light. Success! Now you’ll have to do some food prep. You
grab a thin but sturdy stick to hold the scorpion down. Avoid the stinger at all costs! It’s
best to remove that stinger and the venom gland. Once you remove it, some whitish liquid
might leak out from where the gland was. You raise the wriggling arachnid to your lips,
shaking, and…YOU WAKE UP! It was only a dream! You let out a breath of relief. But
what if you hadn’t been dreaming?? The chances of being able to swallow the scorpion
whole are pretty slim. Imagine trying to chew a live scorpion that’s still kicking those
8 legs! Like in the dream, it’s best to remove the stinger and venom gland; if you
don’t, the scorpion would try to sting you all the way down. A scorpion can’t live
in a watery environment—like your stomach—BUT it can hold its breath for 6 DAYS, so if you
do swallow it whole, it could potentially float around in your stomach for that long!
(But probably not.) Your stomach acids would do some damage to
the scorpion, but you could have a bad allergic reaction: if the common desert scorpion stings
the surface of your skin, you’ll develop a rash. So imagine what would happen if you
got stung on the INSIDE. Scorpion venom is a neurotoxin, which means that your nervous
system will quit working, and you’ll eventually experience some kind of paralysis. But their
venom isn’t all bad: scientists have been doing a lot of research with scorpion venom
to see how it could be used for medicine! But if this really was a survival situation,
scorpions ARE a good option. The legs are surprisingly meaty and, like lobster, the
best meat is in the tail and pincers! This is how you get all that protein and calories
from scorpions. Just chew up the outer shell, and swallow. Your stomach acids can break
down the scorpion much easier in pieces. Let’s go back to that dream for a sec. After
you catch your scorpion, you’re somehow able to start a fire, and decide to cook it.
This is much safer: the heat will get rid of any parasites the scorpion might be carrying,
and will basically make that venom gland useless. Plus, cooking it will make it taste better!
And hey, the Chinese believe that eating the scorpion whole with the stinger will make
you strong! The idea here is to skewer the scorpion; imagine roasting a marshmallow,
turning it on the stick so that it’s evenly cooked. Except it’s a big bug.
Once the scorpion has an even brown color, it’s ready to eat! It should have a nice
crunchy texture. You know the whole “it tastes like chicken” joke? Some say that
cooked scorpion tastes like crispy chicken skin—everyone’s favorite part! Bon appetit!
Have you ever tried scorpion, cooked or raw? If so, how was it? Tell me about it in the
comments! In some countries, scorpion is actually a
versatile delicacy! Cooked scorpions are served as street food, and make a nice soup! You
can even buy frozen scorpions in some countries, so that they can be stored and used later!
Try putting some oil in a hot pan, then stir-fry your scorpions for one minute. Add some seasonings
like garlic, salt, and pepper, or your favorite spice mix. Let them cook for at least 40 minutes—you
want to make sure all that bad stuff is cooked out. Now you have a nice side dish or snack!
Want another tasty scorpion recipe? Pan fry them! Remove the stingers and venom glands.
Pour milk into a medium-sized bowl and give the scorpions a nice soak in it. Ohh, a bug
milk bath! Set the milk bowl aside and melt butter in a large skillet. Now take the scorpions
out of the milk and coat them in cornmeal. Cook the dredged scorpions in your skillet
for two minutes on each side. Let the excess butter drain off and season them with lemon
and salt. Even I might try that! So, if you do get stung, what should you do?
Scorpions aren’t just found in remote deserts; they’re common in hot, dry places like Arizona
or parts of Australia, and they can wander into your home! The sting of a scorpion feels
a lot like a bee or wasp sting. (Wasp sting—that’s hard to say.) If you’re stung, look for
symptoms of an allergic reaction, like a rash or hives. You’ll probably have some swelling
and itchiness, so put some ice on it. Then use an antihistamine or hydrocortisone cream.
A scorpion sting doesn’t usually cause a lot of problems for most people, unless you
have a serious allergy to the venom. But it also depends on what kind of scorpion you’re
stung by. For example, if you live in the Southwest
US—states like Arizona, Texas, and Nevada—watch out for the bark scorpion! They’re brown
with a darker back, and up to 3 inches long. Its sting can cause more worrisome symptoms
like fast breathing, a racing heart, muscle twitches, and weakness. If you think you’ve
been stung by a bark scorpion, it’s best to just go to the emergency room. Take precautions
like wearing shoes outside, and wear gloves while working in the yard. Also, shake out
any clothes or towels that you’ve left outside. So, remember, his bark c worse than his bite,
but not worse than his sting. Hey, if you learned something new today, give
this video a like and share it with a friend! Here are some other videos I think you’ll
enjoy; just click to the left or right and stay on the Bright Side of life!