A Guy Who Experienced All Of These Insect Stings Tells Which Are The Worst (10 pics)

Posted in INTERESTING       30 Aug 2016       4151       GALLERY VIEW

Justin Schmidt, a budding entomologist was writing a dissertation about the venom of different insects with the help of his zoologist wife Debbie. They collected large numbers of the "nasty stinging insects" for analysis and comparison of their venom. To asses venom, they had to evaluate toxicity and pain. As for toxicity, well, it was easy, all they had to do is to use existing measures. But there was no measures for pain. This is how the "Schmidt Pain Scale for Stinging Insects" appeared. It was a four-point system, based on the well-known sting of a honey bee that they rated as a two. Plus, a lot of people are actually familiar with this type of sting. So, from this point, people could imagine what a sting of various types of insects could feel like. When collecting the insects, Schmidt didn't try to be deliberately stung, it just happened. Overall, he got stung over 1,000 times from at least 83 different species. Here are the list of some of the insects that were evaluated by Schmidt and illustrate the full scope of the pain scale.

Red fire ant

Scientific name: Solenopsis invicta

Range: Native to South America

Description: "Sharp, sudden, mildly alarming. Like walking across a shag carpet and reaching for the light switch."

Pain level: 1

Western cicada killer

Scientific name: Sphecius grandis

Range: North America

Description: "Pain at first sight. Like poison oak, the more your rub, the worse it gets."

Pain level: 1.5

Western honey bee

Scientific name: Apis mellifera

Range: Native to Africa and Europe

Description: "Burning, corrosive, but you can handle it. A flaming match head lands on your arm and is quenched first with lye and then sulfuric acid."

Pain level: 2

Western yellowjacket

Scientific name: Vespula pensylvanica

Range: North America

Description: "Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W.C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue."

Pain level: 2

Fierce black polybia wasp

Scientific name: Polybia simillima

Range: Central America

Description: "A ritual gone wrong, satanic. The gas lamp in the old church explodes in your face when you light it."

Pain level: 2.5

Velvet ant (technically a wasp)

Scientific name: Dasymutilla klugii

Range: North America

Description: "Explosive and long lasting, you sound insane as you scream. Hot oil from the deep frying spilling over your entire hand."

Pain level: 3

Florida harvester ant

Scientific name: Pogonomyrmex badius

Range: North America

Description: "Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a power drill to excavate your ingrown toenail."

Pain level: 3

Tarantula hawk

Scientific name: Pepsis spp.

Range: North America, Central America, and South America

Description: "Blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair dryer has just been dropped into your bubble bath."

Pain level: 4

Bullet ant

Scientific name: Paraponera clavata

Range: Central America and South America

Description: "Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over a flaming charcoal with a 3-inch nail embedded in your heel."

Pain level: 4

Warrior (or armadillo) wasp

Scientific name: Synoeca septentrionalis

Range: Central America and South America

Description: "Torture. You are chained in the flow of an active volcano. Why did I start this list?"

Pain level: 4




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