Last week when we brought you up close and personal with the world's largest spider – the Goliath bird-eater – we were just getting warmed up. After all, what mega-sized arachnid collection would be complete without the largest scorpion in North America?
Today we'd like to introduce you to Hadrurus arizonensis, more commonly known as the “giant hairy desert scorpion.” Hell, just saying those four words together is enough to induce nightmares, but they're pretty descriptive, as you can see.
In the US, this little horror can be found throughout the deserts of Southern California and Arizona, and they can grow up to six inches in length. While they tend to prey on other desert-dwelling bugs, their larger size enables then to snack on lizards, rodents and the occasional snake... and when food gets scarce, they sometimes just eat each other. Yup, giant hairy cannibal scorpions. File that image away for your next nightmare.
The venomous sting of this species is non-lethal to humans, but still hurts like hell, and they're one of the most aggressive scorpions on the planet, so you might want to zip that sleeping bag up extra tight next time you go camping out in the desert. Because, like Newt from Aliens famously said: “they mostly come at night... mostly.”
Here's a clip showing a little good-natured teasing of a captive Hadrurus by a human who apparently has no fear whatsoever... or a very high pain threshold. Maybe both. Either way, don't even think of trying this yourself.