Several years ago, a Hollywood producer had elected to film his horror flick in the dry and scenic back country of Southern Utah.

The star of the movie, a notoriously fussy diva named, well, we'll leave her name out of it, was especially difficult on this back-country shoot and complained about just about everything -- the accommodations, the weather, the dust, even the hired help.

"She was truly a pain in the butt," said the owner of the lodge that the production group stayed in during the making of the movie. "She was unhappy about everything."

The lodge was known for its remoteness, its unmatched ruggedness and beauty with the surrounding desert mountain landscape, and its propensity for being friendly to the wildlife.

Living on the property were foxes, raccoons, a giant desert tortoise and a large family of spotted skunks.

Two of these skunks got into a skunk spat and ended up spraying their odorous weapons at each other -- right in front of the lodge, and more specifically right in front of the spoiled actress's outside-facing room entrance.

While the actress huffed and hollered, the skunk smell actually seemed to help one other occupant of the lodge. Lodge owner Tom picks up the story from there:

"While she's in her room making a big fuss, this Native American woman comes out of the room next to hers, takes two or three big breaths of the foul air and remarks, 'Wow, my sinuses have been clogged for weeks and something in the air has cleared them right up. I can finally breath again.'"

By the way, no official studies have been done on whether or not skunk odor can help with sinuses or colds, but according to, having skunks around can be beneficial:

"Though they can consume plant matter, they often hunt for insects that are high in protein and other nutrients. In many cases, the insects they eat are ones that humans don't particularly like. One study found that approximately 70% of the insects that skunks regularly consumed were considered nuisance species by humans. These include cockroaches, grasshoppers, and spiders, all of which humans tend to devote significant effort toward removing. Skunks also hunt a wide variety of other species that people don't like, including snakes and rodents. "

Also, one other little-known fact: Striped skunks can spray you simply by lifting their tails, but spotted skunks actually need to perform a maneuver that looks similar to standing on their heads in order to perform the dreaded spraying defense.

So if you ever see a spotted skunk standing on its head, well, run.


* _ NOTE: That horror movie filmed in Southern Utah was called "The Canyonlands" and received awful reviews (3.2 out of 10 stars). It is unrated and I have not seen it, so can neither endorse nor dismiss it. Check out the reviews on imdb and watch at your own risk.


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Gallery Credit: Dom DiFurio & Jacob Osborn

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