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Friday, February 13, 2009

Bzzzzzzz | Futility Closet


After he'd been stung by almost everything, entomologist Justin O. Schmidt created the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, a four-point scale comparing the overall pain of insect stings:

  • 1.0 - Sweat bee: "Light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm."
  • 1.2 - Fire ant: "Sharp, sudden, mildly alarming. Like walking across a shag carpet and 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 - Bald-faced hornet: "Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door."
  • 2.0 - Yellowjacket: "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 and 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 (if you get stung by one you might as well lie down and scream)."
  • 4.0+ - Bullet ant: "Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch nail in your heel."
Bzzzzzzz | Futility Closet

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