Unpleasant animal news: the plagues return

The Biblical plagues, I mean. In Egypt.

Well, they’re back. (Do not click on this link if you can’t bear to see a close-up of a large scorpion, a representative of a swarm of large scorpions.)

In case you don’t want to look, here are the opening paragraphs of the Times article:

CAIRO — First came the lightning that strobe-lit the Nile skies a pale purply gray. What happened next checked all the boxes for a fierce storm: heavy rain, thunder and flash flooding that sent people scurrying for dry land and crumbled mud-brick houses around Aswan, the largest city in southern Egypt.

Then came the scorpions.

There were hundreds, if not thousands: yellowish four-inchers with as many as six pairs of eyes and a tail full of venom so toxic that the species is known, unscientifically, as the deathstalker.

Swept from their desert burrows by the rains, they came skittering into mountainside villages and burst into homes through cracks in the walls, stinging at least 503 people on Friday night alone, according to local officials.

How many times in my life have I been grateful for being a New Yorker, where the largest creepycrawlies are water bugs. Which do not sting. As far as I know. And anyhow, they don’t swam. (Sometimes they fly and that is remarkably alarming but, once again, they don’t swam, they don’t sting. As far as I know.)

The deathstalker. That’s what the scorpions are called.

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