Recently a Chinese man was fined and arrested when customers officers found 200 live and venomous scorpions in his luggage at Bandaranaike International Airport, Sri Lanka.
The man is suspected of smuggling the scorpions into China so the venom could be extracted, however, he was released and allowed to return home after paying the fine of $550.
Officials stated that an investigation is underway. They were not able to value the scorpions, but stated that live-wildlife trafficking is a lucrative new trade and recently has become an issue all over the world.
Sri Lanka is the home of about 18 different species of venomous scorpions but only one Sri Lankan species is known to be fatal to humans. At this time it is unknown whether the 200 live scorpions are of this deadly species.
This weird case comes right on the heals of another strange smuggling incident in which a plane passenger at the same airport attempted to smuggle $30,000 worth of gold using his rear end.
Combine the power of social media with popular culture phenomena and you’ve got a recipe for over-tourism. Whether it is Instagram users seeking the perfect selfie at a tulip farm in California or the actual beach that inspired The Beach, the attention created by this combo is more bust than boom for many destinations.
An Alpine village named Hallstatt is the latest victim. Seated in Austria’s Salzkammergut mountains in Gmunden district. It is a quaint collection of classic Swiss style surrounded by snowy mountains and kissed by crystal water. It is literally something straight out of a fairytale. But dumped right onto your social media feed.
The population of the town is a mere 780 persons, but tourist numbers reportedly reach ten thousand visitors a day sometimes. Beyond Hallstatt generally being a place a selfie-obsessed traveler would want to indulge their vanity it is also rumored to have inspired Arendelle, the name of the setting to Disney’s incredibly popular Frozen movies.
Tourism has so interrupted life in the village that some churches have even hired bouncers to stop visitors from interrupting the village’s religious services.