Amazing Animals

Meet The Man Who Got Stung By Pretty Much Every Insect On Earth… Then Rated Each Sting Like A Fine Wine

'Caustic & burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut' Dr Schmidt feels the pain so you don't have to

Dr Justin Schmidt is a man who truly suffers for his work. He’s an expert in insects, and has set out to be bitten or stung by every nasty little creepy crawly on the planet, all in the name of science.

Far from being just another Jackass style stunt-monkey with a penchant for firecrackers up his arse, the Doc  – one of the world’s leading entomologist who’s working at the University of Arizona – is documenting every ounce of pain he feels and is rating each on the Schmidt Pain Index.

Dr Schmidt scored every pain he’s felt at the hands of insects on a scale between 1.0 and 4.0+. He also described the pain, doing so in a way kind of reminiscent of a wine expert off TV that’s desperate to convince you that Rioja from  from Lidl has a hint of barnacle and top notes of shell suit.

Sweat Bee – Photo: iStockPhoto

Schmidt kicks things off with the rather grim sounding Sweat Bee. Found all over the world, and attracted to the smell of sweat (the perverts), their sting scores a lowly 1.0 on the Schmidt pain Index. It’s described as “Light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm.

Bald Faced Hornet – Photo: iStockPhoto

The Bald Faced Hornet ups the ante somewhat. Along with sounding like a shit super hero, it scores a solid 2.0 on the scale, and its sting is noted as being “Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door”

Honey Bee – Photo: iStockPhoto

Maybe most familiar to us in the UK is the good old Honey Bee, scoring a respectable 2.0 on the index. Schmidt describes the all too familiar sting as “Like a matchhead that flips off and burns on your skin.

Bullet Ant – Photo: iStockPhoto

At the top end, scoring a pant filling 4.0+ is the Bullet Ant. Found in Honduras, Nicaragua, and Paraguay, it’s not called a Bullet because your Aunty keeps one hidden in her handbag. The Index suggests that the pain from one sting is “.”

But with around 150 creepy crawlies stinging, biting and generally annoying Dr Schmidt, there are are whole host of pseudo wine cellar descriptions on the list for us to enjoy.

“A Bold and unrelenting Pain, Like somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail”

Here’s a Top Of The Pops style rundown:

1.2 Fire Ant: Sharp, sudden, mildly alarming. Like walking across a shag carpet & reaching for the light switch.
1.8 Bullhorn Acacia Ant: A rare, piercing, elevated sort of pain. Someone has fired a staple into your cheek.
2.0 Yellow Jacket: Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W. C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.
3.0 Red Harvester Ant: Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail.
3.0 Paper Wasp: Caustic & burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.
4.0 Pepsis Wasp: Blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair drier has been dropped into your bubble bath.

Dr Schmidt irritating bees – Photo:

Another interesting thing that Schmidt has discovered over the ears of sting and bits flies in the face of the advice your mother gave you when you were young. Contrary to the philosophy that suggests that these animals wont hut you if you leave them alone, the Doc has found that the more pain the beast can inflict, the more aggressive they are.

All of this has kind of inspired us. Maybe we should create the Mpora Pain Index. What? That means having to suffer through every slam imaginable? On second thoughts, we’ll leave this honour to Dr Schmidt.

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