By Meg Pulling
Costa Rica: the land of sprawling forests, lush foliage, entrancing wildlife and … scorpions. These mighty arachnids may have their perks in the animal kingdom, but they do not classify as desirable roommates in our latest crash pad.
A predaceous and venomous arthropod (scorpionworlds.com), the scorpion has its own built-in defense system. One swift sting from its venom-injecting barb can protect it from lurking predators and forgetful humans. However, this fearsome nocturnal predator is virtually defenseless against a women’s size-seven shoe. One unfortunate scorpion found this out after creeping into the bunkroom of four unsuspecting girls in Santa Rosa National Park.
After a night of exercising our journalistic skills, Natalie Cheng and I retreated to our cabin for a much needed good night sleep. Aided by the beams of our flashlights, we carefully made our way to our room. After inspecting each blade of grass on the path for critters, we successfully arrived at our cabin door.
Three knocks later and our bunkmate Megan LaManna opened the door in a drowsy daze. One step was all it took before panic set in. My right foot felt a crunch beneath it while droplets of an unknown liquid hit my cheek. I turned to discover what I had just crushed beneath my foot only to hear LaManna say, “Scorpion! It’s a scorpion!” To my surprise, I had just mutilated the tail-end of a very large, and now very mangled, scorpion.
The four to five-inch arachnid hobbled around the dark concrete floor, its guts splayed beside it. LaManna, Cheng and I stared at the deteriorating scorpion for a few moments before LaManna retrieved a broom. The struggling creature was swept into the outside walkway for everyone to see.
After a few moments on display, the scorpion limply crawled to its final resting place beneath the cool concrete foundation of our cabin.