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Saudi man sets world record with deadly 'hobby'

Says he enjoys eating scorpions, snakes and lizards

A Saudi man set a new world record last month after he ate 22 live scorpions in 20 seconds at a show in Riyadh. The 39-year-old earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records but told AlArabiya.net that is not why he did it.

"It's always been my hobby to eat scorpions," Majid al-Maliki told AlArabiya.net, adding that he once ate 50 live scorpions in one meal.

When asked how he eats the scorpions, Maliki replied that he treats them like any other type of food, he chews and then swallows.

The Riyadh-based civil servant said he enjoys eating all types and sizes of scorpions, but especially relishes in the yellow species known as Palestinian.

Maliki said he has been eating scorpions for 22 years and said he also eats snakes, small crocodiles and lizards. "I can eat 10 snakes at a time," he said.

I advise everyone to stay calm after being stung since it is fear that kills...Scorpion poison has many benefits and as long as there are no ulcers, it is ok if the poison reaches the stomach

Majid al-Maliki

Maliki explained he has never been poisoned and said he cuts part of the scorpion's spike so that the sting is mild.

"Even if it stings, the poison won't affect me," he said, adding that it is not the sting that kills but the person's fear as people tend to panic causing the temperature to rapidly rise, which causes death.

"I advise everyone to stay calm after being stung since it is fear that kills," he said. "Scorpion poison has many benefits and as long as there are no ulcers, it is ok if the poison reaches the stomach."

The previous Guinness record holder was an American man, Dean Sheldon, who ate 21 deadly Chinese golden scorpions in 2004.

Maliki said he had a contract with an American program to perform his shows, but said he stopped after the September 11 attacks.



(To watch the video visit: http://evideo.alarabiya.net/ShowClip.aspx?ClipID=2009.02.24.08.31.33.002)