A storm that swept through a remote corner of Egypt on Sunday caused swarms of scorpions to sprout from broken webs and tackle an unsuspecting population of people. On Facebook, the El-Hawary police brigade – known locally as “Aardvark” – posted a video with a warning.
“The scorpions like to chase people as they leave the gutter,” it read. “Do not move into the gutter for your safety. Call us on 999, we will come and pick them up for you.”
A senior police officer told AFP the scorpions had escaped from a tent used for giving medical treatment to scorpions near the southern city of Imbaba. “They invaded a house in Imbaba and a lot of people had to call their families to come get them, and there were a lot of scaly skins,” he said. “Many people have been treated.”
Sunday’s scariest insects do not come from spiders, but quite the opposite. Most scorpions in the northern part of Egypt do not attack their prey, but prefer to go about their business indoors.
Damien Glynn-Carney, a science writer who’s lived in the Middle East for six years, pointed out on Twitter that the story of El-Hawary only proves one thing: scorpions can be scary. “Of course it’s not supposed to happen. Of course they’re a pest,” he wrote. “Of course, living near the great outdoors, you can’t assume safety.”
But best of all, this news beats the Devil.