Weird Nature How Painful is That Sting? The Schmidt Pain Index  

analise.dubner
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Think bug-scientists are timid wimps with butterfly nets and high-pants? Not Justin O. Schmidt. Back in 1984 he wanted to rank the painfulness of insect stings, specifically those of the Hymenoptera Order. He let himself (goaded them) be stung by each of the 10 adorable beauties on this list and then wrote brilliant mini-observations about the sensation -- presumably after he recovered. Schmidt has been stung (to date) by over 150 different species, so who better to rank the pain? 

 Images found on Flikr and Wikipedia, credited where asked.

1

Bullet Ant


Bullet Ant is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list How Painful is That Sting? The Schmidt Pain Index
Photo:  uploaded by analise.dubner
4.0+
SCHMIDT INDEX

Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal witha 3-inch rusty nail grinding into your heel.
2

Tarantula Hawk


Tarantula Hawk is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list How Painful is That Sting? The Schmidt Pain Index
Photo:  uploaded by analise.dubner
4.0
SCHMIDT INDEX

Blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair dryer has been dropped in your bubble bath.
3

Red Harvester Ant


Red Harvester Ant is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list How Painful is That Sting? The Schmidt Pain Index
Photo:  uploaded by analise.dubner
3.0
SCHMIDT INDEX

Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail.
4

Paper Wasp


Paper Wasp is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list How Painful is That Sting? The Schmidt Pain Index
Photo:  uploaded by analise.dubner
3.0
SCHMIDT INDEX

Caustic and burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.