עקרב בחורשת דרזנר מואר בפנס אולטרא סגול
A scorpion under UV lights
Photo: Tali Barkan
A scorpion under UV lights

Israel offers night tours showing scorpions under UV lights

Kibbutz Ketura in the Aravah Valley offers a chance to search for predatory arachnids in the middle of the desert using UV flashlights that create a stunning glowing effect due to scorpion shell's unique structure

Alexandra Lukash, Attila Somfalvi |
Published: 06.14.20 , 11:42
A small kibbutz in Israel's Arava region now offers unique nighttime tours, which sees visitors - quipped with ultraviolet flash lights - search for scorpions in the middle of the desert.
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  • Kibbutz Ketura, located in the Arava Valley north of Eilat, have been offering various tourist attractions for years, but recently they've decided to come up with a tour that visitors wouldn't be able to find anywhere else.
    עקרב בחורשת דרזנר מואר בפנס אולטרא סגולעקרב בחורשת דרזנר מואר בפנס אולטרא סגול
    A scorpion under UV lights
    (Photo: Tali Barkan)
    Every Thursday during nighttime, the organizers take groups of tourists into the desert to search for scorpions. The use of UV lights, meanwhile, makes the predatory arachnids glow amid the blanketing darkness of the desert at night.
    According to the kibbutz tourism manager Yuval Ben-Hai, the search for scorpions is not dangerous at all, despite the understandable concerns. “The scorpions are much more afraid of us than we are of them," he says. "We do not allow in kids below the first grade and ask participants to wear closed toe shoes.”
    Ben-Hai says their tour guides are extremely experienced: “When we detect a scorpion, we create a circle of about two meters around it, watch it and photograph it, but there is no touching. "
    סיור עקרבים בקיבוץ קטורה בערבה הדרומית סיור עקרבים בקיבוץ קטורה בערבה הדרומית
    A scorpion under UV lights
    Ben-Hai says the glowing effect is a result of the scorpion shell's unique structure.
    "The fact is a scorpion’s carapace contains material that breaks the light in such a way that when illuminated with a UV flashlight, a glowing effect is created.”
    Since the government lifted coronavirus restrictions on tourism, the Arava region became a prominent attraction among Israelis. “We are very happy seeing this awakening, it warms my heart."
    The tour, which takes place every Thursday, lasts about an hour and costs NIS 35 per ticket. Ben-Hai adds that Ketura also offers communal accommodation, lovely pools, sunrise tours and lantern lit tours in Timna Park.

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