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Scientist was stung by nearly 80 different insects to create 'pain index' and find out which hurt most
Featured Image Credit: Guinness World Records

Scientist was stung by nearly 80 different insects to create 'pain index' and find out which hurt most

He came up with the Schmidt pain index, which describes how painful the stings and bites of various invertebrates are

A scientist allowed himself to be bitten and stung by more than 80 species of insect, all to see how bad their stings were.

How does one go about figuring out just how painful the stings or bites of insects are?

Entomologist called Dr Justin Schmidt decided that the only way to truly know how painful the bites or stings were, was to just experience it for himself.

Fair warning, if you're afraid of insects or not particularly keen on them, this is probably not the article for you.

Schmidt subjected himself to the stings and bites of 83 different species of insect including bees, wasps, and ants, and then documented how the pain felt to him.

The scale rates stings on a scale of one to four based on the severity and intensity of the pain.

While a common wasp or honey bee comes in at a two, only three species made it to the highest level, number four.

We'll get to them in a moment.

The Bullet Ant has one of the most painful stings.
Eduardo Justiniano/AGB Photo Library/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

We're not just talking rating the pain out of four here. Schmidt analysed the pain of the various stings like a food critic squinting over a smear of emulsion in a Michelin-starred restaurant.

For example, he described the sting of the Western Yellowjacket as 'hot and smoky, almost irreverent'.

That sounds more like a review of a hot sauce than being stung by an insect, and clocks in a pain level of two.

It's not all the big guns though, with fire ants rating at a pain level of just one, being described as like 'walking across a shag carpet and reaching for a light switch'.

That doesn't sound so bad, right?

Well, let's make our way to other end of this pain index to meet some of the truly evil nasty critters.

Safe to say if you meet any of these insects, you should move away from them, then burn the house down, then nuke the entire site from orbit.

It's the only way to be sure.

So what are they?

Dr Schmidt appears on Jimmy Kimmel.
Randy Holmes/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Well, first we have the Bullet Ant. You may have heard of this ant, named because its sting feels like being shot.

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

The Bullet Ant was alone in level four until it was joined by two species of wasp.

These are the Tarantula Hawk Wasp, which paralyses tarantulas and lays it eggs inside them. The wasp grubs then hatch and eat the tarantula alive.

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

Finally, there's the Warrior Wasp, who sting Schmidt described as: "Torture. You are chained in the flow of an active volcano. Why did I start this list?"

Topics: News, World News, Science, Animals