SACRED VENOM

Among scorpions, there exists a religion not of tradition, but rather, one of instinct. Though they lack the neurological sophistication required to comprehend such concepts as God or eternity, their genetic memory leaves just enough room to accommodate one curious ritual.

For an unknown number of generations, scorpions of all species have collaborated to preserve a mere sevendroplets of sacred venom. No gland within their bodies is capable of producing this substance; it can only be obtained from another scorpion, and only through willful transmission. During the rite, the droplet is passed delicately from tail to tail over the course of twelve to fifteen excruciating minutes.

The symptoms caused by this sacred venom are unclear; wild scorpions in possession of the substance have never once been observed injecting it into the body of another creature. Those so endowed only ever engage in combat with their claws, and would sooner die than make use of their tails.

Some scholars believe that these droplets are being preserved for use on a particularly worthy victim: some hard-to-kill creature that will emerge at the end of time, such as the jotun Surtr, or even the Beast from the Sea of Revelation. Others still argue that perhaps these arachnids have never intended to use their sacred venom at all; that, as creatures anatomically composed almost entirely of weapons, such a display is the only means available to them to demonstrate their desire for peace.


Sacred ritual is recognized even among the smallest of creatures.

The sacred venom may be similar to that of the noospheric tarantula.

All venom used in astronaut initiation is said to be sacred, though true sacred venom has never been used.


North of Reality is an explorable fiction space written by Uel Aramchek. You can receive these pieces overnight via email by signing up here. This is entry #229. Learn how you can receive secret stories via physical mail here.

Did you know? All scorpions, regardless of coloration, fluoresce under long-wave (360-400 nm) ultraviolet (UV) light, due to the presence of two compounds (beta carboline and 7-hydroxy-4-methylcoumarin) in their exocuticle. 

The significance, if any, of the fluorescence is subject to debate. It is widely thought to be nothing more than an incidental accident of chemistry. UV fluorescence is indisputably associated with the hardening of the scorpion exocuticle: the soft joints between hard plates don’t fluoresce; after molting, the soft plates doesn’t fluoresce until hardened; and the fluorescence increases with successive molts. 

The unique ability of scorpions to fluoresce under UV light greatly facilitates their collection and observation by scorpiologists at night!

Read new scorpion research by Lorenzo Prendini, a curator in the Museum’s Division of Invertebrate Zoology.

Image: A male Brachistosternus telteca scorpion as seen under ultraviolet light. © L. Prendini/R. Mercurio

@whataboutateakettle replied to your postTim Armstrong is an amazing person. Please don’t…

The sneak peeks made me love Tim (and honestly Tim/ Paige more than I ever thought possible)

ME TOO!

I already loved his doe eyes and dorky smile and his bravery and charm and just overall goofiness. But he is such a gentlemen and he gets it. If Paige wants to run back to Walter, he will not hold her back. But I am so afraid that they’ll drag it out longer than necessary and he’ll leave in a bad way. I just want them all to be happy and in a poly relationship but that might be asking too much.

10

When people say Asians aren’t attractive I’m gonna just show them these amazingly beautiful people

John Harlan Kim (The Librarians)
Harry Shum Jr (Shadowhunters)
Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead)
Ki Hong Lee (The Maze Runner trilogy)
Godfrey Gao (The Mortal Instruments)
Jadyn Wong (Scorpion)
Arden Cho (Teen Wolf)
Jamie Chung (Once Upon A Time)
Lucy Liu (Elementary)
Brenda Song (The Suite Life Of Zach & Cody)