The pain is the ad. The toxicity is the truth.
August 4, 2011 8:52 AM Subscribe
posted by filthy light thief (49 comments total)
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Dr. Justin O. Schmidt likes insects of the persuasive sort, the ones that bite, sting or squirt venom in your eyes
. In the course of his entomological studies all over the world, he has met the defenses of about 150 different insects
, and he has rated them, creating the Schmidt Sting Pain Index
. On the low end: sweat bees, whose sting is "light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm." On the high end: Bullet ants, whose venomous bites cause "pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail in your heel." And it can last for hours, leaving you "quivering and still screaming from these peristaltic waves" [of pain].
More from Schmidt: an interview with Frontiers on PBS
, about Africanized bees and selective bee breeding; interview with Science Blogs
, on the theories of why bites and stings hurt like they do; and Schmidt co-authored Insect Defenses: Adaptive Mechanisms and Strategies of Prey and Predators
(Google Books preview).