The Scientist That Lets Insects Sting Him

The Scientist That Lets Insects Sting Him

Most of us avoid getting stung or bitten by insects. The results are usually not very pleasant. However, one scientist has made it his life’s mission to let insect sting him so that he can rate the level of pain. Entomologist Dr. Justin Schmidt has been stung more than a thousand times by 150 different species of insect. Why does this man willingly inflict excruciating pain on himself? So he can create an index of insect stings and rate them on a scale from one to four, which he calls the Schmidt Sting Pain Index.

So, how do the stings of different insects measure up? Well, the scale starts at one with the fire ant and the sweat bee, there bite/sting only causing mild irritation. At level four sits the bullet ant and the tarantula hawk wasp. Trust me, you don’t want to experience the bite/sting of one of these guys. They’re at the top of the list for a very good reason. Schmidt describes the bite of the bullet ant as a “pain so immediate and intense that it shuts down all illusions of life as normal. Imagine sticking a finger in a 240 volt electrical socket.” I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll pass on trying this little experiment out.

Can you believe a man actually had the guts to submit himself to that kind of pain, all in the name of science? How would you rate the bites and stings you’ve gotten in your lifetime?

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