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Stan Lee’s Superhumans Appearance by Scorpion Sweepers

Expert on Stan Lee’s Superhumans

During the summer of 2011 our founder, Ben Holland was invited to be a scorpion expert on the History Channel’s show Stan Lee’s Superhumans. Find out about the behind the scenes and watch the clip below.

We do not recommend handling scorpions by hand, please do not reenact the scenes of the video.

Scorpion Man Video Clip

In this clip you will see “Scorpion Man” Dean Allan Sheldon place 22 live Texas Bark Scorpions (Centruroides vittatus) in his mouth. He is unharmed by the venomous stings and is truly superhuman.

Behind the Scenes

The History Channel shoot took a total of 12 hours, spanning 2 days. It was filmed in Cave Creek, Arizona. The ambulance and EMTs were real as were the scorpions.

Shoot First Day

Buffalo Chip Saloon Shoot

First, we shot the intro section of the video at the Buffalo Chip Saloon. They chose this location because it appeared “especially Arizonan”. The production company and crew were all from England so they were looking for the most stereotypical scenery possible.

At one point during this shoot Dean dropped a scorpion, the entire crew scattered in fear. While they were running the director called for Ben to come pick up the scorpion but before he was able to collect the scorpion Dean had picked it up by hand. By the end of the shoot, a small crowd had gathered and took pictures.

That evening Dean, Ben, Daniel and the crew went to a 200 archer horse ranch in North Cave Creek Foothills. There the scorpion hunt shots were filmed. They traveled up a single horse trail and found around 20 scorpions in a half hour. Dean was really excited and placed almost all of them in his mouth. The producers finally had to tell him to stop because there were no paramedics and they did not want Dean to injure himself.

Shoot Second Day

On the second day of the shoot, most of the interviews and the feat was filmed. The paramedics were brought in to ensure Dean did not die, they were real EMTs on loan from the local hospital. The ambulance had a really hard time getting up to the ranch and almost got stuck on the road a couple of times.

The act of placing the scorpions in Dean’s mouth was completely real. The scorpions were Texas Bark Scorpions also know as Striped Bark Scorpions. He had sent them to Ben a couple of days beforehand to hold until the day of the shoot. The scorpions were not altered at all, his feat was completely on the up and up.

After the filming was completed Dean went back to the Buffalo Chip to do a show for about 100 people. He has also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.

Stan Lee's Super Humans Group Photo

Video Transcription

Daniel: The Arizona Desert lays claim to the most venomous scorpion in North America, the Arizona bark scorpion. In the legendary freak period of 1980 in Mexico, this variety killed over 800 people.

Daniel: You must be Dean.

Dean: Yes, sir.

Daniel: I can tell. You’ve got scorpions crawling all over you.

Dean: Yes, sir.

Daniel: Baby scorpions?

Dean: No, these are actually full grown Arizona bark scorpions, which is our nation’s most deadliest scorpion.

Daniel: When I was coming to look for the Scorpion Man, I expected to see some big, giant scorpions.

Dean: The giant ones aren’t any worse than a bee sting. These are the ones that most people need to worry about. If you get stung by one of these, you’re going to spend a couple days in the hospital.

Narrator: But Dean claims to be able to put them on his face without being stung.

Dean: You want to take a look? As you see right now, I’m moving my lip, they’re by my eye, and they’re not doing anything to me at all.

Daniel: So why aren’t the scorpions stinging you?

Dean: No one’s been able to figure that out, doctors and things like that. No one’s been able to figure it out. I don’t know if it’s my chemical makeup, the rapport I have with them. I do know that we have trust in each other. These ones I happened to catch last night, and within a 24-hour period, I’ve got them to the point where I can do what I want with them.

Daniel: So you just see a scorpion, you walk up, and pick it up?

Dean: Yes, sir.

Daniel: Any scorpion?

Dean: Any scorpion. It doesn’t matter what scorpion it is that’s on the planet, I’ll pick it up and play with it.

Narrator: He claims it’s 100% real and can even put them in his mouth.

Dean: I can’t layer my mouth with anything. I actually have to make my mouth dry because the more saliva that’s in my mouth, the more willing, they’re ready to sting.

Daniel: Could you have squeezed the venom sac and shot out the venom?

Dean: No, the only way to really get the venom out of them is by taking a sting.

Daniel: It’s just so hard to believe, and I want to take your word on it, Dean, but I’m going to have to ask for someone else’s help.

Dean: Sounds good.

Narrator: Dean wants to prove beyond a doubt he’s immune to the lethal poison by forcing them to sting him in his mouth. He could have drugged these scorpions in some way, so we’re headed to their territory with professional scorpion wranglers to find wild ones.

Daniel: So you’re a professional scorpion wrangler?

Ben: Mm-hmm.

Daniel: Would you put a scorpion in your mouth?

Ben: No, I would not, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it either. The initial putting in is when the greatest danger would be, and I would hate to see one crawl down the back of his throat.

Dean: They will have an issue with the moisture in my mouth, though. As you can see, they’re used to a dry area. They’re not used to a wet, damp area, so once they’re in that dampness, they’re not going to want to be there. And I believe they’re also non-commutative, correct?

Ben: They’re not going to be happy being with a whole lot of other ones.

Dean: So they’re going to be fighting in my mouth?

Daniel: The scorpions will actually be fighting in his mouth?

Ben: Yes, yes, and they’re not happy being around other scorpions, so they will definitely be fighting for their territory in his mouth.

Narrator: Once in his mouth, Dean says he will no longer be able to stop them from stinging him.

Dean: They’re stinging each other. They’re trying to sting me. I acquire hundreds of stings at a time.

Narrator: So his claim to be immune to their venom will come into play.

Daniel: So is there some way this could be a trick, like Dean could do some kind of protective thing in his mouth, like cover it in wax or something like that?

Ben: I don’t believe so, no. I would be very surprised if he could fake this.

Daniel: I’m challenging Dean to take on scorpions straight from the wild. We’re hunting after dark because their exoskeletons glow in ultraviolet light, making them much easier to spot. With our legs protected by scorpion-proof boots, we head off. So, Ben, this is a good place to find scorpions right here?

Ben: Oh, definitely, they always come under this brush because there are a lot of insects in there they can eat.

Dean: That’s a good size Arizona there.

Ben: And they’re everywhere out here.

Daniel: So that is the most lethal scorpion in America?

Ben: Yes, it is.

Daniel: You can put that scorpion in your mouth?

Dean: Yes, sir.

Narrator: Scorpions use their venom to hunt, but also for defense, so in his mouth, it will be stinging to its max. We want as many as possible for his final challenge.

Ben: Here’s one. Here’s a small one.

Dean: Watch your hand. There’s a spider coming . . .

Ben: Yeah.

Dean: Right by your hand there, Ben.

Ben: That’s a black widow.

Narrator: This really is home of America’s deadliest critters.

Daniel: How much venom do they have?

Ben: Just a few micro ounces.

Daniel: And that’s enough to kill a man?

Ben: Definitely.

Daniel: So he’s there ready to ambush something, huh?

Ben: Yep, totally.

Narrator: The experts may use tweezers, but Dean doesn’t.

Ben: Wow.

Daniel: So you grab it by the tail so it doesn’t sting you?

Dean: Yeah, there’s his stinger right there, right on the end of the glowing part.

Daniel: Uh-huh.

Dean: That’s the part that goes into you. The part that’s glowing right below that, that’s the poison sac. That stinger will pack a punch.

Narrator: Dean has this scorpion under control.

Dean: I don’t know, maybe a have a connection with them or something. I don’t know.

Narrator: He claims even if he was stung, it’d be no problem.

Dean: Yeah, I mean, I don’t want to get stung, but, yeah, I would be fine. Physically, nothing’s going to happen to me.

Daniel: All right. What do you think about what we’re seeing right here, a guy who just picks up a wild scorpion with no gloves or anything?

Ben: Well, I think he’s a bit mad, that’s for sure, but more power to him. He’s doing a good job. It’s not stinging him or anything. He seems to have a real camaraderie with this animal.

Daniel: What do you think about this scorpion? How dangerous is it?

Ben: Oh, it’s venomous. It’s a desert hairy scorpion, so it’s not as venomous as the other ones we’ve caught, but that will definitely pack a punch and leave you hurting if you get stung.

Narrator: It’s time for Dean to prove his claims are for real.

Daniel: You mind showing them what you do?

Dean: Not at all. Not at all.

Daniel: All right. So, I mean, this is a pretty big scorpion.

Ben: Yeah, it is.

Daniel: And you’re going to put that right in your mouth, huh?

Dean: Mm-hmm…

Daniel: Wow. Oh, my goodness. Wow. You’ve got to be kidding me, man. Can’t get me? Wow. So it stung you right there. I can see where it stung you. What would happen to a normal person? What’s the first thing that would happen when they get stung?

Ben: I imagine they would scream really loud.

Daniel: Have you heard of anyone being immune to scorpion stings?

Ben: Never. This is the first time in my life.

Daniel: What are your limits with this?

Dean: Honestly, I’m not really sure.

Narrator: For his final demonstration, we’re collecting 22 of the deadliest in America. Tomorrow, he intends to put them in his mouth all at once. The experts predict he could receive hundreds of stings from the lethal cocktail. These paramedics know the results of scorpion attacks, as they deal with more than any other state in the U.S.

Daniel: How many stings would it take to kill a man?

Paramedic 1: 22 would definitely do it.

Paramedic 2: You’re going to be in extreme pain immediately, from even a single stick. If it has venom or not venom, it usually causes some significant pain.

Paramedic 1: We have him hooked up to the cardiac monitor just to see if his heart changes, starts racing, if he gets tachycardic, which is a common symptom secondary to envenomation.

Paramedic 2: 142/70 and a pulse at 88.

Daniel: Do you think he’ll be able to survive this?

Paramedic 1: A normal person would not be able to.

Paramedic 2: I think he’s crazy, and I wouldn’t advise it at all. It’s very dangerous.

Daniel: Are you ready to do this, Dean?

Dean: I’m ready. Let’s try it. I’ll pour them all inside of here, and then I’ll go ahead and just pour them right all into my mouth.

Daniel: This will be the deadliest drink known to man, huh?

Dean: Yes, sir.

Daniel: So let’s get this started.

Narrator: We’ve already seen Dean put a scorpion in his mouth, but now he intends to put 22 of the deadliest in America in his mouth all at once.

Daniel: Are you ready to do this, Dean?

Dean: I’m ready.

Paramedic 1: All 22 are in there now.

Daniel: This will be the deadliest drink know to man, huh?

Dean: Yes, sir.

Daniel: So let’s get this started.

Dean: All right. I’ve got to sift them around a little bit, get them into a nice pile.

Daniel: Whoa.

Paramedic 1: They’re definitely in there. I just saw a sting on his lip.

Daniel: Wow. Oh, they’re going everywhere. They do not like it in there. Any change in his vital signs, whatsoever?

Paramedic 2: No change in his pulse.

Paramedic 1: No.

Daniel: Oh.

Narrator: The experts said 22 stings would kill. There are 22 in his mouth, and they’re stinging continuously.

Dean: All right. That’s his claw.

Daniel: And that’s pinching you.

Dean: Yeah.

Daniel: You just have two of them fighting on you.

Dean: I don’t feel anything at all.

Daniel: Wow. That just goes against . . .

Dean: It actually hurts me more when they pinch me than it does when they sting me.

Daniel: So what do you think about what you just witnessed?

Paramedic 1: That’s amazing.

Paramedic 2: It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. He should be dead.

Daniel: But how are his vital signs?

Paramedic 2: Vital signs are normal. They’re the exact same before he put them in his mouth as they are now.

Daniel: Have you ever seen anything like this?

Paramedic 2: Nothing like this, no. He should be lying on the stretcher right now, being rushed to the hospital, trying to maintain his airway. I expected at least his pulse to significantly increase, if not be in excruciating pain, and his pulse did not change in the least bit, no pain noticed at all.

Daniel: So he’s defying science?

Paramedic 2: It appears to be so. I can’t explain it.

Narrator: As a precaution, they continue to monitor Dean, but he showed absolutely no ill effect.

Daniel: Serious stuff right there, man. Without a doubt, you are superhuman.

Narrator: Dean Sheldon appears immune.