'Ewwww... I stood on it': Surprise house guest shocks family

A MYSTERIOUS house guest's sudden appearance on the kitchen floor gave an Ipswich mum a fright, and a bit of a laugh.

Mum Mel Nolan was on her way to the fridge to grab a piece of chocolate, in a break from her diet, when she stepped on a scorpion.

Ms Nolan, whose star sign is Scorpio, was shocked to see it on the floor where her six-month-old baby often plays.

She and her friend sprung into action.

"We put on our Steve Irwin King Gees and tried to save him and put him outside, and as soon as we moved it, the damn creature ran at us so we screamed murder, those things move so weirdly," she said.

"We trapped it under a Chinese container and stood there contemplating our attack.

"I got the bug spray - which clearly don't allow for scorpion poisoning as there is no picture of it on the can - then from a far I took aim.

"Then BAM squashed it with a THONG. Yep a thong, why not..? It is Australia after all.

WHAT THE?: Springfield Lakes mum Mel Nolan was shocked when she came across a scorpion in her kitchen.
WHAT THE?: Springfield Lakes mum Mel Nolan was shocked when she came across a scorpion in her kitchen.

"I knew we've had some ridiculously hot days but seriously didn't think Springfield Lakes had turned into the desert.

"Next a camel will be strolling on in through my front door."

Scorpion venom a useful tool

Although Mel was shocked to see the creature on her floor, researcher Professor Glenn King from the University of Queensland's Institute Molecular Bioscience said scorpions were common - and useful.

Prof Glenn King and his team explore the venoms of spiders, centipedes and scorpions to find new uses, including in the medical field.

He said a bite from the Australian scorpion wouldn't have killed Ms Nolan, but could have left her feeling sore.

"None of the Australian scorpions are harmful," Prof King said.

He said some bites from venomous scorpions and spiders could even be beneficial.

"We've heard stories of people who have been bitten by a scorpion or a spider and they previously suffered severe arthritis, those symptoms have disappeared for months after the bite.

Australian Wood or Forest Scorpion, Cercophonius squama, on bark.
Australian Wood or Forest Scorpion, Cercophonius squama, on bark. Australian Museum

With 600 types, UQ's Institute Molecular Bioscience has the world's largest collection of venoms.

Those venoms, particularly those impacting the nervous system, undergo testing in the search for new medical treatments.

One of those being developed is an anti-epileptic treatment and scorpion venom was found to the most promising for further analysis.

"We've also done some research into an anti-malaria drug, and early testing has indicated that the scorpion venom is more promising than other venom."

About scorpions

Scorpions are common arachnids found in gardens and forests throughout Australia. They are found under logs, rocks and in shallow burrows in earth banks.

There are also desert species that construct deep spiral burrows in desert sand. Scorpions are mostly nocturnal but they can be active during the day, especially during prolonged wet weather.

Scorpions tend to be larger and more venomous in the northern parts of Australia.

The largest Australian scorpions can grow to 12 cm long, but many forest dwellers are only small.

Source: Australian Museum



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