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Scorpion venom is the most expensive liquid in the world — here’s why it costs $39 million per gallon

The venom from a deathstalker scorpion can be deadly. It can also make you quite a bit of money. Here’s why.

Following is a transcript from the video:

Narrator: The deathstalker is one of the most dangerous scorpions on the planet, and what makes it so dangerous also happens to be the most expensive liquid in the world. This stuff costs $39 million per gallon. Now, even if you had the money, you couldn’t just go and buy a gallon of the stuff, because you can only get it in tiny, minuscule amounts. $130 will get you a droplet that’s smaller than a grain of sugar.

The reason why is pretty simple: the stuff is hard to get. Scorpions are almost always milked by hand, one by one. And one scorpion produces, at the most, just two milligrams of venom at a time.

So, let’s do the math. If you owned one scorpion you would have to milk it 2.64 million times to fill a gallon. And let’s face it, you’d probably get stung along the way as well. One sting isn’t enough to kill a healthy human, but I think it hurts.

Steve Trim: 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.

Narrator: That’s Venomtech founder Steve Trim, one of the few people brave enough to deal with these animals. That’s because inside that deadly venom, there’s actually tons of useful components that are helping pioneer breakthrough medicines.

Chlorotoxins, for example, are the perfect size to bind with certain cancer cells in the brain and spine, which is helpful for identifying the specific size and location of tumors. And researchers have used scorpion to eliminate malaria in mosquitoes. Kaliotoxin has been given to rats to fight bone disease. Scientists hope it could work in humans too.