Acid Shooting Land Lobsters In Texas’ Big Bend National Park
Yes, you read that headline right. Acid shooting land lobsters have been found in the Big Bend National Park in West Texas.
When you go out into the wilderness areas you expect to find critters, snakes, and bugs. But this is a new one on me. You might not want to read any farther if it's close to bed time.
While the Chron called it a 'land lobster' it's actually more closely related to scorpions but without the venom. Instead of venom it has the ability to shoot a super-acidic vinegar spray out of its backside when it feels threatened. And it can aim that shot of vinegar pretty much wherever it wants.
It seems the recent rains in the Big Bend area have brought some of the more unusual life forms out into the open and this is one that is surely the stuff that nightmares are made of.
Another name for these little buggers is 'whip scorpion' due to the long, whip-like tail. Officially they're called vinegaroons and their acetic acid spray is pretty powerful. They can also pinch you with their mouthparts, but as stated earlier, do not have the stinging venom that scorpions do. Which is good because I've been zinged a time or two and it's no fun.
Curious as to exactly how they spray, I did some searching around on YouTube and found this video from BBC Earth Unplugged.
Those Brits got pretty excited when they got the spray on video and I have to admit, it's pretty cool to watch. On my computer or digital device. Wouldn't really want to be in the room with one of these guys.
I guess vinegaroons do have one thing going for them, they eat cockroaches.
While our friends at River Bend Nature Center would probably love to have one of these in their collection, I'll be perfectly happy if I never see one of these creepy guys in real life.