Scorpions are the second most deadly group of animals in the world, accounting for about 7,000 deaths a year. Though that’s well down on the roughly 20,000 a year from snake bite, it’s still a lot.

There are about 40 different species of scorpion in Australia, and they range in size from very small, just a few cm long, to the 12cm long Forest Scorpions in Northern Australia. They’re found in all climates, hiding under bark in forests, under rocks, or in desert sands. They’re also found in every Australian state.

Not one death has ever been reported from an Australian species of Scorpion. They are just not that dangerous. Painful, but not dangerous. Stings should be be checked by a doctor, just to be sure. But while an Australian scorpion is a guaranteed poor choice for the prize in a Christmas cracker, it’s hardly the stealthy death dealer people seem to think it is.

A fun fact about scorpions is that they look like a glowstick under UV light. No one knows why, but scorpions have shells that flouresce in UV, making it actually easier to find them in the dark with a blacklight than in the daylight. Some scientists have suggested that they like raves, or possibly someone jizzed on them. Better scientists believe the glow is caused by sugars and waxes in the coat that waterproof the scorpion.

There is a choice Scorpions make, evolutionarily speaking. Am I going to be strong, with powerful tearing claws, or am I going to be small and uninspiring, but deadly? The bigger, heavier scorpions look scarier. But it’s actually the little ones you have to watch out for. All the genuinely deadly ones are reasonably small, and lack the massive hulking claws many associate with death scorpions.

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