Stowaway scorpion stings student

Non-fatal bite gets Queen’s student 15 minutes of fame

Anthony Harris was bitten by a scorpion while on a plane from Costa Rica after winter break.
Anthony Harris was bitten by a scorpion while on a plane from Costa Rica after winter break.

When Anthony Harris got off the plane on Sunday morning, he was greeted by at least 15 people, ranging from members of the SWAT team, to paramedics, firemen, airport officials and nurses.

On his way back to Toronto from Miami after ten days in Costa Rica, Harris’ American Airlines plane was about to land when he felt something on the back of his left leg.

“I felt this unbelievable pain in the back of my leg and didn’t know what it was,” he said. “It went away after a while and when I looked down, there was a scorpion down my leg.

“I didn’t move and let it crawl. I picked up my textbook and scooped it into my textbook and squished it.”

When Harris told the flight attendant what had happened, she didn’t believe him until he showed the scorpion to her.

The pilot was then informed.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a plane land so fast before,” he said. “There was a fire engine outside my window.”

Harris said it was funny because at that point, his leg wasn’t hurting much.

He was put on a stretcher and hooked up to an IV. A plane was also waiting to take him to Arizona in case the bite was lethal.

Seeing Harris in a stretcher, travelers who were delayed because of the incident thought he was contagious.

“When they wheeled me out, people were putting their hands over their mouths,” he said. “The announcements were really funny. They didn’t mention anything about a scorpion.”

Harris was kept under observation for two hours at the hospital until they found out what type of scorpion he had been bitten by.

“Twenty-five out of 15,000 species of scorpions are lethal,” he said, and fortunately, his wasn’t.

Harris said the story gets better.

“I get to class on Monday at 8:30 and I look at the and there’s my story on the front page,” Harris said, whose story was featured in the GTA section the next day.

“The best part about the Toronto Star article was that I was described as a long haired, bearded young man in his late 20’s and early 30’s … which couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m 21, except I kind of have a beard,” he said.

Harris said his mom seemed really worried when he first told her.

“As soon as she realized I was fine, she burst out laughing. My dad loved it,” he said. “My friends thought it was hilarious. I’ve heard the Snakes on a Plane joke 50 times now and it’s still funny. People love hearing the story and I love telling it. It’s been such a positive experience.”

Harris was given a plastic spider from his professor for

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.