If you're looking for a holiday party treat that'll be a conversation starter, you might want to sample salted Manchurian scorpions (Mesobuthus martensii). These crunchy snacks can be eaten whole — stinger and all — and are safe to consume because the scorpion's venom becomes inert once the arachnid is dead, according to the product website. However, the website also warns that people with allergies to shellfish or crustaceans may also experience an allergic reaction to edible insects and arachnids.
Available from EntoVida for $17.95.
Pyro Mini Fireshooter
Start the holiday season off with a bang, with a wearable device that allows you to shoot tiny fireballs with a flick of the wrist. A pair of barrels combine flash paper and combustible cotton to produce a momentary burst of flame that can travel up to 10 feet (3 meters). WARNING: The Fireshooter is not recommended for children under 18, and users are encouraged to watch the manufacturer's instructional videos before lighting things up, according to the product website.
Available from Vat19 for $149.00.
USB Spaceman Light
Bring a glow to your dark workspace with this tiny, USB-powered astronaut light. The spacesuit-clad figure is attached to a flexible cable and produces about 12 lumens of LED light (the equivalent of a 1-watt incandescent bulb), and the light activates when the astronaut's helmet visor is lifted.
All crabs are equipped with a pair of powerful pincers on their front limbs, which they use for defense, gathering food, digging burrows and mating displays, and this clever crab-shaped multitool should prove equally capable of performing a range of tasks. A wooden "body" makes the crab easy to grasp, and its tools include a miniature scissor, a bottle opener, a screwdriver, and a can opener.
Green Chafer Beetle Computer Mouse
It's not a bug — it's a feature! In addition to the usual gears, wheel and sensors, this optical USB mouse has a green chafer beetle (Cetonia aurata) encased in a mound of clear acrylic, illuminated by multicolored lights when the mouse is in use. As each beetle specimen is unique, expect some variation from the product photo, according to the manufacturer.
Plush Science of Love Bouquet
For that special someone on your holiday gift list, show them how much you care with a plush "science of love bouquet." This charming offering includes nine plush items on detachable stems: three heart-embroidered Erlenmeyer flasks and six molecular structures representing dopamine and serotonin, chemicals produced by the brain that are associated with pleasant emotions.
Available from ThinkGeek for $19.99.
Giant Microbes Gift Box Set
Hug a bug! Give the gift of microbes this holiday season, with a collection of plush, cuddly microorganisms that are cuter than a teddy bear. Choose from a selection of gift boxes that include different groups of adorable, colorful microbes, such as Ocean Creatures, Dino Creatures or Plagues From History.
Available from ThinkGeek for $19.99.
Need a gift for a high-strung coffee drinker? Don't overreact, but this might be the gift to beat! The silly imprint design, with two charismatic flasks (right, not beakers, which have a wide, open mouth) on both sides, will surely get a chuckle. And, it's practical: microwave and dishwasher safe, to boot.
'I got your back' T-shirt
Maybe someone in your life takes things a little too literally? Check out this "I got your back" T-shirt: Made by Feelin Good Tees, the sarcastic shirt comes in loads of colors and it's 100 percent preshrunk cotton. (Remember, Live Science has your back.)
'I make horrible science puns' Mug
The "I make horrible science puns" mug could be just the gift for that clever, or not so clever, pal at work or home.
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Mindy Weisberger is a Live Science editor for the channels Animals and Planet Earth. She also reports on general science, covering climate change, paleontology, biology, and space. Mindy studied film at Columbia University; prior to Live Science she produced, wrote and directed media for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Her videos about dinosaurs, astrophysics, biodiversity and evolution appear in museums and science centers worldwide, earning awards such as the CINE Golden Eagle and the Communicator Award of Excellence. Her writing has also appeared in Scientific American, The Washington Post and How It Works Magazine.