Scorpions glow as a result of a certain layer in their exoskeleton trapping the longer wavelengths of ultraviolet light.
Scorpions are already a pretty cool looking animal. With their thick armour-like exoskeleton and threatening claws, they’re a cool sight. That’s not to mention their impressively massive tails tipped with a deadly stinger. They’re made all the more cooler when you learn that scorpions glow.
The tough yet flexible part of a scorpion’s exoskeleton is called the cuticle. In one layer of the cuticle, certain molecules absorb longer wavelengths of UV light and emit this in different wavelengths that we can see at night as a bluish green glow! A very cool and visually striking effect indeed.
It is believed by researchers that this is to help scorpions hide at night, acting as a sort of full body detection system for ultraviolet light. This enables the scorpion to know if a certain hiding spot is fully hiding it from the light or not. It seems like fantasy that this could be a real trait of a real animal, let alone such a well know one as a scorpion. Despite that, scorpions glow in the dark and that’s just a fact!
That isn’t the only cool thing about scorpions though, down below I’ll go through just a few things that make them such cool (albeit scary) little critters.
Scorpions glow, what else?
Now that we’ve established that scorpions glow, let’s go through some other scorpion facts.
For instance, did you know the world’s largest scorpion is the Giant Forest Scorpion. These big guys can reach a total 9 inches in length and weigh up to 56 grams! That’s about a third the weight of an apple; so overall not the most gigantic species on earth.
The title of ‘world’s deadliest scorpion’ goes to the aptly named Deathstalker Scorpion. Which, might i add, is maybe the coolest name of any species in the entirety of the animal kingdom. Deathstalkers are extremely aggressive in both the wild and captivity. They rarely hesitate to administer their sting and venom to their victim. Said sting causes your muscles to all flex at once, paralysing you. They use this insanely powerful ability to hunt crickets, their main food source!
On the topic of scorpion deadliness – can you guess how many people a year die because of one of the pesky arachnids? 10? 50? Maybe even 100? How about a whopping 3000 deaths a year! i don’t know about you, but that feels like an INSANE amount of scorpion-caused deaths.
One interesting scorpion species known as the Arizona Bark Scorpion has one of the most painful stings of any scorpion. It is described as feeling like being struck by a bolt of lightning! Can you even imagine how painful that is!
For my none 18+ readers, please skip over this section. For any adults reading, let me tell you the horrors of not only the Arizona Bark Scorpion, but the deathstalker too. Not only does it feel equivalent to a lightning strike, it makes you… um… ‘stand to attention’ before you die. I’ll let you figure that out for yourself, but let’s just say i don’t mean you’ll be saluting.
Animal-Club provides animal parties or animal handling workshops. You will be able to see, learn and interact with many wonderful animals with the help of our presenters. Our mobile zoo has many friendly animals such as rabbits, tarantulas, geckos, vinegaroons and more, perfect for an animal party. We can also come over to your school for an animal school visit or arrange for an animal workshop with us where the children can learn about looking after animals and animal behaviour, and have fun too.