Amazing Animals

Watch Animal Expert Coyote Peterson Get Stung by the Velvet Ant, or “Cow-Killer”, The Fourth Most Painful Sting in the Insect World

We can see why this racked up 11 million YouTube views in less than a week...

When I was young I wanted to be an animal expert. I wasn’t sure in what capacity – I just really, really liked lemurs, to the point of parental concern – but I thought it seemed like a pretty cool job.

Admittedly though, when I pictured myself working and living in the animal kingdom, I imagined furry animals desperate to make friends, lonely wolves howling under dramatic sunsets and rhinos and elephants just generally being really, really sound.

What I can safely say I never dreamed of was a scenario where I’d be squealing at the hands of the fourth most painful stinger in the insect kingdom in return for a shitload of YouTube views – but that seems to be the day-to-day life of adventurer and Animal Expert Coyote Peterson.

Coyote, who seems aptly named for his industry, just got stung by the Velvet Ant, aka the Dasymutilla Magnifica, aka the “cow killer”, named so for the rumour that its sting is powerful enough to kill a cow and the fact that the pain from the sting lasts a full 30 minutes afterwards.

Of course, there’s never actually been any recorded incidents of a cow being killed by the “cow killer”, which makes the nickname seem slightly problematic and open for factual law suits, like that time the ‘Ceramic Tile Warehouse’ shop near my house were using the slogan “where inspiration comes in boxes”, only to reveal when I got down to the shop – it was more of a shop than a warehouse – that what actually came in the boxes was ceramic tiles, and the subsequent inspiration had to come from within. But anyway, I’m getting off topic again.

Coyote Peterson’s Velvet Ant extravaganza is only the latest in his ‘Breaking Trail’ series. He’s previously been bitten by crocodiles and pinched by crabs, but he took on the “almighty cow murderer” – if we’re making up sinister, unfounded nicknames, why not go all out – as he bids to work his way up to being stung by the Bullet Ant, the most painful sting in the insect world.

Still, the Velvet Ant didn’t look like easy work. Peterson squeals that it was the worst sting he’d ever taken, and you can see how the video accumulated over 11 million views in less than a week. This is nasty stuff.

Peterson says the reason behind all the madness is “to have an interaction so that I can show you the effect of these encounters. This way we can all learn why it’s important to be in tune with our surroundings and why it’s always best to admire animals from a safe distance.”

In all honesty, it looks like what he actually did to try and get the Velvet Ant to sting him was stick it in glass jar without air for two minutes, which in the human world would be considered torture, and the ant still didn’t sting him until he got a glorified pair of tweezers and absolutely forced it to, so we actually have a lot of time for the “love not war” mantra of the Velvet Ant.

Despite all of this, there’s something likeable about Coyote and something insanely watchable about his YouTube series. Check out the video here.

The sting is around the 10 minute mark, but we’d recommend watching the whole thing. It’s strangely hypnotic…

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