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Duel to the Death Between a Spider and a Scorpion Captivated America in 1934

Duel to the Death Between a Spider and a Scorpion Captivated America in 1934

Thankfully, pitting different dangerous insects and arachnids against each other and seeing which one kills the other is not a big sport in the United States. However, that was not always the case. In 1934, in a dark and dusty corner of a garage in Long Beach, California the fight of the year and perhaps even the century went down between a black widow spider and a scorpion. The fight drew attention from around the country, with news outlets from all over the country crowding in to get a shot of this epic battle.

The fight began on August 22, and it was none other than the scorpion that would take the first swing. As it lunged toward the spider it foolishly got stuck in its web and was soon completely wrapped up and unable to move anything but it tail, which was violently thrashing around. As the days went by and the fight went on, people began to place bets on who the winner would be and spectators arrived in droves to catch sight of this exciting event.

Despite the scorpion’s desperate attempts to escape the spider’s net, the odds were still strongly on the spider as it began to weave its tail around the scorpion’s stinger. It is at this point that the spider, clearly overconfident in its win, made a foolish mistake. This was already days into the battle and it looked like the spider would be victorious when she swung her web just a little too close to the foreclaw of the scorpion, and that scorpion latched on for dear life in an attempt to turn the tide of the fight. It was this move that then put both competitors on equal ground, with them both locked in an impossibly position that gave neither the opportunity to deliver the final blow. In a daring move, the spider broke free on day four by sacrificing one of its legs. Unfortunately, the scorpion was also able to use the last of its strength to break free of its silky binds. However, in a shocking move that disappointed the nation, they ended up in a tie when both were doused with chloroform and killed by City Prosecutor John K. Hull. He turned and said to the audience, “I'm sorry, boys,' he said, 'but the humane society has complained about the show.”

Do you think this kind of arachnid sport would be approved of or popular today? Who do you think would have won if the fight hadn’t been ended?

 

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