6 scorpion facts to make your skin crawl

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Dan Griffiths) (Source: Dan Griffiths)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

It's summer in Arizona and that means more scorpion sightings! Outside your home, inside the house, these creepy-crawly creatures can be found anywhere.

Here are six terrifying -- and amazing -- facts about scorpions. 

Apologies in advance for any nightmares you might have.

Ready?

1. Scorpions are as old as dirt.

 

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Scorpions have been giving people the heebie-jeebies for a very, Very, VERY long time. They have been on earth for more than 400 million years. That's longer than humans and dinosaurs. And in that time, they haven't changed a whole lot.

Scientists know of about 1,500 species of scorpions, but there could be another 1,000 undiscovered types. 

[RELATED: Scorpions are out: Keep them out of your home]

2. They are tough as nails

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This tiny arachnid can go an entire year without food! If that isn't impressive, they can also live underwater for two days.

You can even freeze a scorpion and it won't die!  Some scientists have frozen scorpions just to watch them start moving and walk away after they thawed. Most scorpions live for about two to 10 years, but some can live as long as 25 years. 

[RELATED: Scorpion control tips from the Garden Guy]

3. The most dangerous kind lives right here in Arizona (naturally).

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The Southwest, particularly Arizona, is home to the bark scorpion, the most dangerous type out there.

Their venom is very potent and can, in some rare cases, kill you. Most healthy adults will survive a scorpion sting, though it is very unpleasant. Expect intense, radiating pain near the sting site. Some people have described it as burning like fire. Numbness and tingling are common symptoms, too.

Worse reactions (especially in young children) include trouble breathing, accelerated heart rate, vomiting, drooling and muscle twitching. 

[RELATED: Mother shares boy's severe reaction to scorpion sting to raise awareness]

4. They are fierce and ruthless hunters. 

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Scorpions have allegiance to no one! They'll attack insects, other scorpions and even family members.

They are very patient hunters, sitting for hours in one spot, still as water, waiting for victims to come too close. A scorpion will then snatch a cricket (or other insect) with lightning speed as its tail hammers down with paralyzing blows. Once the scorpion's meal is motionless, it will be torn apart by the scorpion's pincers.

Then things get nasty.

Scorpions have strong juices in their mouths they spit on those pieces that help melt them into a chunky soup the scorpion will eat/drink. Yum! 

[RELATED: Valley family fries up scorpion for a snack]

5. They glow in the dark

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You've probably seen pictures of them glowing or maybe you've hunted for them yourself with a black light. Scientists say proteins in their shell glow a blue-green florescent color when you shine ultraviolet light on them. Those proteins are found in what is called the hayline layer. Scientists don't have a concrete answer on why scorpions have this feature. Some think it's to help detect light, others think it may be a way for scorpions to spot other scorpions. Whatever the case, it's pretty cool. 

6. Scorpions have live births 

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Scorpions have a very interesting mating dance when it's time to reproduce. Before mating, males will grab the female's pincer in his pincer and move around in a seemingly choreographed dance. After the dance and the deed are done, females grow their young inside them for several months to a year.

The brood is made up of around 25-35 babies that are born live. They crawl out of the female and then crawl to the top of her back. They stay on her back for about three weeks before they attempt to give life a try on their own. 


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