24 May 2012

Ten Most Painful Stings

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Number 9: the Tarantula hawk wasp, Pepsis hemipepsis: “Blinding, shockingly electric. A running hair drier has been dropped into your bubble bath.”

Entomologist Justin Schmidt, who boasts of having experienced the stings of 157 insects, identifies and describes the top ten most painful.

Interesting, but one wonders how certain spiders, like the Australian funnel-web, Atrax robustus, for instance, would compare. Its bite induces convulsions, paralysis, and death, and the victim spouts blue saliva.

The all-time champion painful sting is probably really the one administered by fish of the genus Synanceia, stonefish. Stonefish stings are so painful that victims apparently regularly plead for the injured limb to be amputated.


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