The Deathstalker Scorpion's Venom Is The Most Expensive Liquid On The Planet—Here's Why

The venom from the deathstalker scorpion is now thought to be a treatment for brain cancer. Photographed at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County on Wednesday, August 23, 2006. (Photo by Stephen Osman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

There are few times when anyone is actually glad to come upon a scorpion. With loathsome pincers and painful venom, the creatures are widely regarded as terrifying and sometimes even deadly.

But in the case of the Deathstalker scorpion, its venom is proving to be quite useful—so useful that it's become the most expensive liquid on the planet.

At $39 million for a single gallon, the sums paid for the venom make other expensive liquids like oil and fine liquor seem cheap. What's more, an entire gallon isn't easy to come by. Most Deathstalkers only release millimeters of the venom at a time, so the process is long and hazardous.

But the venom's potential justifies the price, with many of its components setting the stage for a number of revelatory scientific breakthroughs.

Watch Business Insider's scoop below:

The potential profit has some joking about starting their own Deathstalker farm.

But the benefits of the Deathstalker venom are no laughing matter. Chlorotoxins in the liquid are ideal for binding with cancer cells in the brain, allowing researchers to more precisely identify the size and scope of tumors and malignant cell clusters without sacrificing healthy tissue.

Other components in the venom are helping fight everything from malaria to bone disease.

As the uses for the venom continue to grow, researchers are trying to find a more efficient way of gathering the venom, which is almost always extracted by hand.

But being one of the most dangerous scorpions in the world, extracting the venom brings a wealth of hazards.

While a sting from the Deathstalker isn't usually lethal, the pain one sting imposes is visceral.

Steve Trim, the founder of Venomtech, elaborated on this:

"I'd easily put it being a hundred times more painful than a bee sting, but because pain is a subjective and emotional experience, it's difficult to really get a quantification on that. But it's definitely gonna ruin your day."

Nevertheless, the scorpion has been mystifying people for years.

Though its sting certainly isn't enviable, this little critter may just lead to some stunning breakthroughs in medicine.

Blaze TV

Continuing a steady slide to the right since her tenure as President Donald Trump's United Nations ambassador, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is under heat for recent comments regarding the Confederate flag.

The comments came during an interview with far-Right Blaze TV host Glenn Beck.

Keep reading... Show less
Fox News

Former Vice President and current 2020 Presidential candidate Joe Biden erupted at a man during an Iowa town hall who accused him of actively working to get his son Hunter a board position on the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings. Biden called the man a "damn liar" before challenging him to pushups.

Republicans seized on the moment as an opportunity to discredit Biden as a candidate, but Fox and Friends cohost Ainsley Earhardt's reaction may be the most deluded yet.

Keep reading... Show less
Bryan Woolston/Getty Images // @parscale/Twitter

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has repeatedly made clear that, after President Donald Trump solicited Ukrainian leaders to announce investigations that personally benefitted him, the decision to launch impeachment proceedings wasn't a political maneuver, but a constitutional mandate.

The move came after years of Trump's supporters, as well as some critics, insisted that impeachment would be political suicide for the Democrats.

Since shortly after the inquiry's announcement in September, support for impeachment outweighed its oppositon as more revelations surfaced of Trump's dealings with Ukraine, but his 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale attempted to show that Pelosi's move to impeach would lose Democrats their House majority.

Keep reading... Show less

Shortly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that representatives would begin drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy took the podium to defend the President and the Republican party as a whole.

It could've gone better.

Keep reading... Show less
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images // MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

One day after the House Judiciary Committee's hearing on impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) held a press conference announcing that the House would begin drafting articles of impeachment, with a possible floor vote as soon as Christmas.

The press conference signaled the beginning of the end of the impeachment inquiry in the House.

Keep reading... Show less
Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee, in its public impeachment hearing against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, consulted four constitutional scholars for greater insight to the legal implications of the President's Ukraine scandal—and whether they merit impeachment.

Three witnesses, called by Democrats, each made compelling arguments for the articles of impeachment with which Trump could be charged.

George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley—invited by Republicans—was the lone dissenter.

Keep reading... Show less