split image Scorpion Queen

In 2009, Kanchana Ketkaew (Thailand) set a world record by living with 5,320 venomous scorpions in a 12-m² glass room for 33 days and nights.

The 39-year-old “Scorpion Queen” broke her previous record for the longest duration living with scorpions – achieved in 2002 – by one day.

Several scorpions gave birth inside the room, whilst many others died each day. To replenish the numbers, two batches of 1,000 new scorpions were added over the course of the record attempt.

Due to animal welfare concerns relating to these deaths, we no longer monitor this record.

Scorpion Queen holding scorpions

Kanchana was stung 13 times in total, however, the venom had little effect on her due to the immunity she’d built up over many years.

She recovered quickly from any stings she received, unlike Nor Malena Hassan (Malaysia), who first set this record in 2001. Nor was stung seven times and fell unconscious once, which almost brought an end to her 30-day record attempt.

Kanchana’s record attempt was organized by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Pattaya and took place at the city’s Royal Garden Plaza shopping mall, where many tourists and media members gathered to watch.

Crowd gathered outside Scorpion Queen glass room

Her glass room was equipped with a television, a bed, books, and a refrigerator. The food wasn’t just for herself – she fed the scorpions each day with a mixture of raw egg and ground pork.

She was only permitted to leave for a 15-minute toilet break every eight hours.

The 33-day stunt was full of ups and downs for Kanchana, who reportedly burst into tears on one occasion.

Scorpion Queen inside glass cage

After emerging from the room at the end of her record attempt, she was “overwhelmed with happiness,” according to Ripley’s representative Somporn Naksuetrong.

Kanchana said to the press in attendance: “It’s very difficult but I tried because I received a lot of support from Thais and foreign tourists in the past 33 days.”

A few months later, in April 2009, Kanchana appeared on our televised talent show Lo Show dei Record to achieve another scorpion-related record: the longest time to hold a scorpion in the mouth.

She set the record with a time of 2 minutes 3 seconds, which remained unbroken for four years until Steve Ceriotto (USA) smashed it with a time of 17 minutes 17 seconds. Again, due to animal welfare concerns, we no longer monitor this record.

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