MALAYSIA Woman attempts record with scorpions
The 27-year-old, known as the 'Scorpion Queen,' has built up a tolerance to stings.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- A Malaysian woman who's trying to reclaim a world record by living in a locked glass box with more than 6,000 scorpions has been stung once, is suffering a fever and scarcely sleeps because the creatures keep crawling over her.
Nur Malena Hassan, 27, said today she has a "50/50 chance" of reaching her target of being cooped up with the poisonous arachnids for 36 consecutive days to set a new record for the longest stay in a room full of scorpions.
"I'm feeling so much tension," Nur Malena told The Associated Press by telephone from the specially built glass room that she moved into Saturday in a shopping mall in Kuantan, a city about 160 miles northeast of Kuala Lumpur.
"Nighttime is the worst," she said. "I can only sleep two or three hours, since scorpions get so active at night. But I want to show that Malaysians are capable of world-class efforts."
Nur Malena said she has a mild fever after being stung on her face Sunday. But scorpions rarely sting unless they're disturbed, so she remains cautious while moving within the room, which measures about 12 feet by 10 feet.
Nur Malena, who's been nicknamed "Scorpion Queen" in this Southeast Asian country, set a world record in 2001 by living for 30 days with 2,700 scorpions. She was stung seven times, fell unconscious and nearly gave up the potentially deadly feat.
Her record was shattered a year later by Kanchana Ketkeaw, a woman in neighboring Thailand who lived in a similar glass room for 32 days with 3,400 scorpions.
"Having 6,000 scorpions is different from 3,000," Nur Malena said. "It's just worse."
Nur Malena has built up an endurance to stings after more than five years of training. But she says she'll still pass out if she's stung three times within a short span.
Thousands of Malaysians have visited the mall to observe Nur Malena in the room, which she leaves just once a day for a 15-minute bathroom break under self-imposed rules. She sleeps, eats and performs Muslim prayers in the room.
Boredom sometimes sets in, but Nur Malena keeps entertained by watching DVDs on a TV set. Her favorite movie right now: "Spider-Man."
Malaysians have displayed a growing penchant in recent years for offbeat records -- such as the highest backward climb up a staircase and the largest number of old people at a circus.