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Facts about Scorpion Venom

Facts about Scorpion Venom

Intrigued by scorpions? Their venom is potent to kill a human. If you want to know more about their venom, then you should be reading the following article.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2018
The dreaded fear of scorpions among the people has inspired many filmmakers to showcase the scorpions as the epitome of evil in their films. The fierce appearance of the scorpions can be credited to their mighty claws, and their deadly tail. The general perception that scorpions are only found in deserts, is false. They can be found in several habitats, including caves, grasslands and rainforests. They have been in existence on this planet, long before humans. Even 420 million years ago, long before the dinosaurs, scorpions lived on this Earth.

Scorpions can reach a maximum length of 21 cm (Hadogenes troglodytes), while there are scorpions which measure just over 9 mm (Microtityus waeringi). There are more than 1000 species of these arachnids, but interestingly the number of scorpion species that can prove fatal to humans is less than 50.

Scorpion Venom Facts

Scorpion venom can be lethal, but it can also be a life saver. Here are a few interesting facts about scorpion venom, that you would like to know.

What's in the Venom?
The venom of the scorpions is composed of a myriad of constituents, the researchers are yet to identify all the contents of the scorpion's venom. The venom generally includes:
  • Neurotoxins
  • Water
  • Enzymes
  • Histamine
  • Salts
  • Serotonin
  • Enzyme inhibitors
  • Peptides
How Will the Venom Affect You?
All scorpions are poisonous, but as I mentioned earlier, all their species are not life-threatening to humans. The consequences of the scorpion sting are different for different species. An insect may die due to a sting of a certain scorpion, but you won't. In case of a scorpion sting, you will usually experience localized effects such as swelling and tenderness. If the intensity of the venom is high, then you may find yourself facing the systemic effects, which include, rise in body temperature, numbness, coupled with severe pain. In worse cases, a scorpion sting might also lead to coma or death. When scorpion envenomation occurs, the neurotoxins in the venom, trigger the release of the fight-or-flight hormones (catecholamines) in high amounts. The massive release of this hormone disrupts the normal functioning of the body. So, in reality, the scorpion venom makes our own body go against us.

What are the Uses of Scorpion Venom?
The research on scorpion venom, which is being carried on since several decades, has made man realize a fraction of the medical potential of the scorpion venom. The commercial use of drugs made from scorpion venom has not started yet, as the development of these drugs is still in the research stage. Researchers say that:
  • The scorpion venom can be used to make antivenin.
  • It can be used to make painkillers.
  • It can be used to increase the success ratio of heart transplants.
  • Eco friendly pesticides can be made using the venom.
  • Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis could be cured using the scorpion venom.
  • It can be used to assist in building up immunity.
Lethal List
Here is the list of some of the most dangerous species of scorpions:Some researchers say that, the venom may help fight cancer. More investment needs to be done in the field of scorpion venom research, this will perhaps lead to great medical discoveries, and may one day be responsible for saving many lives. A major hurdle in the research is the lack of volunteers, and this is obvious, since no one really wants to have venom inside their body!

Imagine the pain, when you slam the door of your car on your finger. Isn't it bad? When a scorpion stings, it is way worse than that, so if you come across any scorpion, keep safe distance, and avoid the agony of a scorpion sting!