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The desert: vast, dry, barren, and dangerous stretching miles. In the day, blistering hot, in the night, temperatures reaching nearly freezing. There are some of the most menacing creatures you could encounter.

Often times, if you just leave these animals alone you're not going to get yourself hurt, but the chance is still there.

Not only are there treacherous conditions and wild animals, there's also just the devastating climate that is desert living. Redditor oppositewerewolf wanted to know what's out there from people's first hand experiences.

Redditor oppositewerewolf asked:

"Desert dwellers, what's the strangest/scariest thing you've seen out in the sands?"

Check out these incredibly scary encounters in the ruthless terrain.

Desert camping.

"Turned on a black light at night while camping. Scorpions. Scorpions everywhere."

- china_rider

"I can second this. It was a huge mistake."

- Matayoman

"I have coworkers that have been stung inside their homes by scorpions. Seem to hear a story about a scorpion sting about once a month. Most are in the garages but several have inside the house proper."

- GotWheaton

"Also don't pick up round rocks that have a hole in them where you can see sparkles (i.e. a geode). Scorpions will crawl out and sting your hand. Kick the rock first. Service announcement from 6 year old me."

- Ethnafia_125


"I work in the desert. The scariest thing I've seen in the middle of nowhere are people."

- Anticrepuscular_Ray

"Creepiest f*cking thing when people exist where you aren't expecting them to."

- Spooky_boi_Kyle_8

"When you live in a city, and someone knocks on your door, it's not alarming. When you live miles away from anything and someone does. It's not good. I've lived in both super urban and super rural areas and that's my go to safety measure. I never answer my door either way, but out in the middle of no where, I get my gun."

- Subwaypossum

The road was moving.

"Mom, grandpa, and toddler me were driving through rural West Texas at dusk. Mom noticed the road looked like it was moving and something was crunching under the tires. She asked what it was. He told her she didn't want to know. She insisted. Turned on the brights to reveal it was a tarantula migration."

- turtles_go_mrph

"Tarantulas are harmless."

"They are the gentle giants of the spider world."

"If you somehow managed to piss one off enough for it to bite you, anti-venom doesn't exist because an ibuprofen will work just fine. You won't even be able to call in sick to work."

"Think of them as eight legged kittens that are terrified of the fleshy trees known as humans."

- the_ranting_spider

"Imagine just trying to get to a new area and some asshole runs over you and all your friends."

- FoldOne586


"Not usually scary but in this instance it scared the sh*t out of me and my friends. We were making camp, it got dark and my friend was fiddling with his flashlight. He says, 'Wouldn't it be crazy if a donkey was in our camp when I turned this on?' Sure as sh*t his light worked and a donkey had ninja snuck in between all 4 of us. Scared the sh*t out of all of us."

- leg00b

"This might not sound so scary until you have seen it in person. I was out camping in the desert and some idiot in the campground left a large cooler of beer unlocked. Javelinas (wild pigs) got into the cooler and proceeded to get drunk on beer. Wild pigs are not the nicest creatures and when they get drunk they don't get happy drunk they get angry drunk. They rampaged through the campground tearing apart everything they could find, squealing like tortured banshees, and sh*tting everywhere. Then they all collapsed in a heap in the middle of the campground, passed out."

"It was a scary ten minutes."

- happiness7734

"Javelinas scare the f*ck out of me. I had the misfortune of meeting a big one and some babies eating out of a trash can in a neighborhood when I was walking home drunk, I took the long way home because I did not want that thing to charge at me."

- BeenTriLLLLL

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"My grandma's dog is an amazing little chihuahua - she's an old blind diabetic lady now (the chihuahua not my grandma... my grandma isn't blind) but anyway - the only time I've ever yelled at her was when she was about 2 and we were in the front yard enjoying the sun and a javelina came out of nowhere and ran passed us and this dog started chasing it! I've seen the damage those things do to big dogs and I didn't want to find out what it can do to a tiny one. I freaked out, a screamed, cried.... she finally came back and I yelled at her and she stayed mad at me all day lol."

- NoNewsThrowaway

Doing a grass survey.

"Use to be a wildlife biologist for the USFS. I have come across most things that live in the desert. I haven't been intimidated by most until the day I was out doing invasive grass surveys and a swarm of Killer bees moving the hive flew past my partner and me. It looked like a dark cloud floating above the ground and sounded like prop jet. Hands down the most scared I have been in nature. My body flashed with heat and I was completely frozen. When bees move they all surround the queen in flight. If they had picked up on us as a threat (allergic or not) they could have killed both of us easily."

- Marshviper23

"I'm familiar with someone who accidentally went over a nest with a lawn mower. Had 2200 stings as per the autopsy. When you consider the average human has 2,800 square inches of skin, well you get the picture. Yes, it killed him."

- enemyoftoast

"A good thing to keep in mind when you see a swarm, which is a group of bees establishing a new hive, is that this is the least aggressive they will ever be. They have none of the brood or stores that they would need to defend so they are quite passive, even usually highly aggressive bees such as 'killer' bees. When beekeepers move or capture swarms many don't wear protective equipment or just wear gloves as they push piles of bees into cardboard boxes."

- drunkensailor27

Not your average tumbleweed.

"An 8'x4' piece of sheet metal tumbling in the afternoon wind. F*cking decapitator."

- kkoolkoolkid

"This is incredibly horrifying. I worked at a hardware store as a kid and watched a display of aluminum flashing tip and do some amazing slicing damage to a nearby aisle."

"I can only imagine with an 8' piece of tumbling sheet metal would do."

- Peace5ells

Predators of the desert.

"I live in the Sonoran desert (idk if this counts) but apparently a few Mexican grey wolves somehow got into our area a few years back. I looked out my back window (I was seven) and was staring straight into the eyes of an enormous grey wolf. I was used to seeing coyotes, but not THAT! Thankfully, all our usually outdoor pets were inside. They (3 of them) checked out our yard for a while and then left."

"For a couple of years after that, people in the area reported that apparently they took over the local coyote pack and were leading them to do some pretty bold stuff."

- winniwinnidonning

"Coywolves! They are reportedly very smart and better equipped to deal with different terrains than either coyotes or wolves alone."


"Apparently most of the coyotes where I live (Northern MA) are coywolves. The puritans drove out the biggest predators, so a true wolf or a mountain lion is very rare, but the wolves who bred with coyotes had children small enough to stay out of humans way, but still cause damage."


"Turned the corner on a walk to take a piss away from the camp site and there was a Mountain Lion (Puma Concolor) just watching us from the darkness."

- immortalsteve

"I had a similar interaction with a bear. Just standing there with my pecker out while a bear was staring me down. Thankfully it left me alone. Getting attacked by a bear while your dick is out doesn't sound like a good time."

- Anonymouse3426

Sounds in the dark.

"Taking your dog out at night and hearing an animal yelp followed by the laughing of dozens of coyotes immediately after in the pitch black."

- Pestokid

"Lol I live in Kansas in a heavily suburbanized area. There's a forest behind my house and I hard all types of Coyote caterwauling feet away from my house. I stepped out onto my porch and could see the shadowy forms of coyotes running up and down the golf course. I must say I'm very fond of those tricksters. They are one of the only creatures whose population surged after humans: the master genociders, attempted to eradicate them."

- Gentleraptor


"Bones from a hand in the Outback. Turns out it was a kangaroo bone, but not something you want to casually pick up."

- Beckyholly93

"A friend of mine from Australia told me that lots of people go out just disappear on the outback never to be seen again. Is that true?"

- oppositewerewolf

"It's a bit of a misinterpretation. People don't 'mysteriously disappear' that often, but lots of people choose to disappear into remote Australian desert communities."

"There are a few remote towns known for having cash/barter economies, no police presence, unspoken agreements to not follow up on identities (or request things like licenses), and limited neighbours who mind their business for one reason or another. People choose to go to these places to 'disappear.'"

- odd_neighbour

"Yep, I know a few places near where I grew up (Far North Queensland) in which police don't go near, standard laws don't apply, and people highly respectful and turn a blind eye of whatever their neighbours are doing. I've heard stories of people going to these places to try and kick up a stink only to end up in a way worse condition then they arrived in. There was also a time when I guy was killed by an auto shotgun trap when he tried to steal weed from someone's crop."

- SirEcho

The Salton Sea.

"The Salton Sea. From a distance and overhead, it looks like any other refreshing lake or reservoir. An oasis in the desert sands. But it is landlocked with no outgoing River, so the salts and minerals just keep building up every year."

"You head toward the beach, there is a beach of sand and ancient, crushed-up shells, and the blueness of the water gets darker and darker until you realize that the blueness just the reflection of the sky, and the water itself is black as tar and the smell…like rotten fish and spoiled eggs. Dead fish everywhere, and flies. You don't even want to get close to the water nowadays, but if you did swim in it you would float…the salt in it is so concentrated."

- Comminutor

"The Salton sea is a trip. I was looking on an old map and saw a huge body of water in southern California. Weird that I had been living there for a few years and never heard of it, so I drove out there..."

"Apparently, there used to be resorts and such out there at one time. It was eerie seeing all of the abandoned buildings and such, but everything was cool until I went to the edge of the lake. The sand was crunchy! Huh? I looked down and there was not sand, but millions of dead fish bones. Maybe even billions. The entire shore was nothing but bones from dead fish. I looked out at the water (no waves!) and realized why it was like that. Algae blooms. Apparently, the farm runoff goes into the Salton sea and provides nutrients for algae to grow and they take up all the oxygen in the water and kill off most of the fish. Something did move out in the water at one point, but the ripples were muted quickly."

"I left the area while in a weird mental state. Humans really f*cked that area up badly."

- strikethreeistaken

Human or something else?

"I live on the edge of the Mojave desert. It gets to 115+ in the summers so I like to go on long walks by moonlight in the early hours of the morning out in the desert. I was at least 6 miles outside of town when this happened. I know, it's not the smartest but I kinda like being alone out there. It kinda makes me feel a little more alive in a primal way. It's difficult to describe the feeling."

"Anyway a few weeks ago I was out there doing my thing, when I hear a screeching noise. Like an inhuman high pitched whining scream that slowly increased in pitch and volume. The source was within 10 or 15 yards. I fumbled around to turn on my phone's flash light just in time to see a something's leg disappear into the brush."

"It was like that scene in signs in the corn field where mel Gibson's character shines his light around just in time to see the the aliens foot disappear into the corn."

"I don't know what it was. I assume it was a tweaker or something because I can't think of any animals in the area that sound like that. If it was a human though, they would have had to be scrambling on all fours to be able to disappear into the sage brush like that. Needless to stay I didn't stick around to find out exactly what it was."

"This was in Washington county, Utah if anybody has an idea of what it might have been. Second best guess is a cougar w/ severe nasal congestion"

- DWBean

Camping, or simply living, in the desert sounds like a death wish. Still, people are out there. And with changes in climate, it seems it's only getting worse out there.

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