Thailand's Scorpion Queen, Kanchana Ketkaew, yesterday embarked on a mission to clinch two world records at Pattaya's Ripley's Believe It Or Not! museum. As of press time, she is doing really well.
First taste of success
After two minutes and three seconds with a venomous scorpion in her mouth, Kanchana accomplished the first half of her feat. Witnesses, including reporters and tourists, were stunned.
Kanchana just smiled: "If you thought this attempt was intense, my next one will leave you speechless. I can't reveal any details yet, but I've started preparing for the most dangerous and death-defying challenge of my life."
Kanchana, a 39-year-old native of Samui, has been a scorpion queen for years.
In 2002, she spent 32 days in a room with 3,400 live scorpions - that world record earned her instant fame.
"Breaking this record has been my dream for years," she said yesterday.
Kanchana says she has always loved animals, and has pushed her mental limits to overcome the fear that's supposedly part of being a woman.
Sharing her soft spot for creepy crawlies is the man she married, Thailand's Centipede King, Bunthawee Siengwong.
Yesterday, Kanchana stepped into a glass enclosure containing 5,000 adult scorpions. Her aim is to stay there for 33 days and 33 nights.
Medics on standby
A medical team from Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital is on hand to monitor her physical condition throughout the stay.
Somporn Naksuetrong, general manager of Ripley's Believe It Or Not! commented: "The museum is happy to support Nong Na in her world-record attempt because we feel that it's being done not merely as a stunt or entertainment, but to satisfy a deeply felt ambition."