Most painful sting

Justin O. Schmidt, an entomologist from the United States, has ranked the relative pain caused by bee, wasp, and ant stings. How do you find that out, though? Easy enough, you just sting yourself.

Bullet ant
Muséum de Toulouse [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The Schmidt sting pain index ranges from 1 to 4. Small bee stings rank a paltry 1 on this scale, but the 3s and 4s are excruciating.

Probably the most endearing part of this index is Schmidt’s own descriptions, which are almost poetic in their metaphors. The sting of the Maricopa harvester ant, for example, he describes as follows: “After eight unrelenting hours of drilling into that ingrown toenail, you find the drill wedged into the toe.”

So, which stings are the absolute worst? The tarantula hawk, the bullet ant, and the warrior wasp are all ranked 4 on this index, with piercing fiery pain that lasts for hours.

Incredibly, Schmidt is not the only person to test stings on themselves. There’s even a YouTube channel dedicated to it. I personally do not plan to watch this channel – I get the creeps just contemplating a simple bee sting.


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