Thursday , 29 September 2016

Ranking the most painful insect stings on the planet

Entomologist Justin Schmidt has been stung more than 1,000 times by over 80 different species, and luckily for us he ranked those insect stings on his “Schmidt Pain Scale for Stinging Insects.”

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The stings were ranked on a four-point scale. The honey bee was used as a reference point with a rating of 2 on the scale. Half points were used and to go up or down on the scale the sting had to be discernibly more or less painful than stings on another level.

Some of the stings are below, with their pain level and a short description of the sting.

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Red Fire Ant
Pain level: 1
“Sharp, sudden, mildly alarming. Like walking across a shag carpet and reaching for the light switch.”

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Western Cicada Killer
Pain level: 1.5
“Pain at first sight. Like poison oak, the more your rub, the worse it gets.”

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Western Honey Bee
Pain level: 2
“Burning, corrosive, but you can handle it.”

ranking-the-most-painful-insect-stings

Western Yellowjacket
Pain level: 2
“Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W.C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.”

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Fierce Black Polybia Wasp
Pain level: 2.5
“A ritual gone wrong, satanic. The gas lamp in the old church explodes in your face when you light it.”

ranking-the-most-painful-insect-stings

Velvet Ant
Pain level: 3
“Explosive and long-lasting, you sound insane as you scream. Hot oil from the deep frying spilling over your entire hand.”

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Florida Harvester Ant
Pain level: 3
“Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a power drill to excavate your ingrown toenail.”

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Tarantula Hawk
Pain level: 4
“Blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair dryer has just been dropped into your bubble bath.”

ranking-the-most-painful-insect-stings

Bullet Ant
Pain level: 4
“Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over a flaming charcoal with a 3-inch nail embedded in your heel.”

ranking-the-most-painful-insect-stings

Warrior Wasp
Pain level: 4
“Torture. You are chained in the flow of an active volcano. Why did I start this list?”

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