Stay Away From The Nature's Most Potent Stingers

Mayukh Bari05 June 2020 11:20AM IST
3 min read482

Most of the time nature reserved its most painful stings for the smallest ones. The pain of these stings is measured by 'Schmidt Pain Index'. This is a rating caused by different hymenopteran stings. Justin O. Schmidt, an entomologist at the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Arizona developed the scale. Dr Schmidt once said,

"Level four you don't want to know. The pain is so immediate and intense that it shuts down all illusions of life as normal. Imagine sticking a finger in a 240-volt electrical socket."

Here are the 5 most painful stings you must (not) try for your pleasure. At the end watch reactions of Coyote Peterson when stung by each one of these.

Harvestor Ants

Pain Level 3
Pogonomyrmex maricopa

Maricopa harvester ants belong to a global ant species of seed collecting ants. But the most venomous red ones are found in the U.S. state of Arizona. This colonial species can sting in a group of hundreds. The venom contains allergenic proteins that are otherwise known to set off a potentially lethal immune response in certain victims. Aside from their powerful stings, they are also a vicious biter.

Velvet Ants

Pain Level 3
Dasymutilla klugii

This is a species of wasp whose wingless females resemble large, hairy ants. Thus they got a common name 'Velvet Ant'. Interestingly they are known as 'Cow Killer'. Mostly found in North American southwest. The exoskeleton of all velvet ants is unusually tough. However, the actual toxicity of their venom is much lower than that of harvester ants. Still, the agonising pain can last up to 30 minutes.

Warrior Wasp

Pain Level 4
Synoeca septentrionalis

This wasp can be found in Central America and northern South America extends to Brazil. This one is a very aggressive species. The sting is barbed and if used often kills the wasp. The venom is also very potent but due to its small size, it does not have a much longer effect on the human body. But it still can blow your mind for few hours with excruciating pain.

Tarantula Hawk

Pain Level 4
Pepsis grossa

Nope this is not a hawk but a wasp. They sting to paralyze tarantulas before dragging it to a brood nest as living food; a single egg is laid on the prey, hatching to a larva which eats the still-living prey. Though the adult-only feeds on nectar and not an insect eater by any means. They are not very aggressive, but the sting is extraordinarily painful and the pain can last up to a couple of hours.

Bullet Ant

Pain Level 4
Paraponera clavata

This is known as the bullet ant because of the extreme pain it delivers following a sting, similar to that of getting shot. They are not aggressive ants but are vicious when defending the nest. They also produce a sound when attacking. The recipient experiences its agonising effects for the next 12 - 24 hours. It can be found in the South American rainforest and grow to around an inch long and you should keep a distance if encounter even one.


Giant Desert Centipede

Pain Level 4
Scolopendra heros

This is how a real nightmare looks like and you have to seek medical attention if get stung. Giant Desert Centipedes are found in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, from New Mexico and Arizona in the west to Arkansas, Missouri, and Louisiana. Their venom is much more potent than that of the above species. For humans, a bite causes sharp, local pain and swelling and cause nausea, headache, and localized skin necrosis. With addition you will remember it for the rest of your life.