BITES AND STINGS THAT ARE REALLY PAINFUL
Added on: 24th Sep 2016
These gelatinous sea creatures, sometimes referred to as
“painful stingers” in Australia, are among the most feared
animals in the ocean. You might have a better chance of
escaping a shark attack unscathed than surviving a swim
through a box jellyfish’s tentacles. The venom is so toxic
that they are reputed to be some of the most venomous
creatures in the world. Adding to their nightmarish mystique,
box jellyfish are nearly invisible to unsuspecting swimmers.
The creature that killed Steve Irwin isn’t usually a threat to
humans, but it won’t hesitate to strike with a painful, serrated
barb if threatened. Aside from being laced with venom, the
barbs are also known to break off in the wound, occasionally
requiring surgery to remove. It doesn’t help that the barbs are
most often delivered to the sensitive underside of a person’s
foot while wading along in the ocean. This is one sting you
won’t soon forget.
These inch-long wasps create magnificent curvy, detailed nests
from wood fibre and saliva and for the most part, are very placid.
It pays to not get too close, though. According to the Schmidt
Pain Index, their sting is “caustic and burning with a distinctly
bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid
on a paper cut.”
RED HARVESTER ANT
Red harvester ants are adorably industrious, foraging for
seeds on the forest floor and hoarding them in underground
larders. However, they can be downright aggressive when
defending their stash. Their sting ranks alongside paper wasps
in intensity and is “bold and unrelenting, like somebody using a
drill to excavate your ingrown toenail,”
says the Schmidt Pain Index.
Gila monsters are colourful lizards native to the American
Southwest that can deliver quite the wallop and their
neurotoxic venom is only the half of it. Since they lack the
musculature to forcibly inject the venom, they rely on
hard chewing with their sharp teeth to ensure the poison
gets implanted. Gila monsters can be so aggressive that they
have been known to flip over while biting, further opening
up the wound. Luckily, these creatures are mostly docile
toward humans so long as they are left alone.
Considering the large number of venomous creatures that
inhabit Australia, the odd-looking, cute, and clumsy platypus
might seem like a safe option. Think again. A male platypus has
ankle spurs that are capable of delivering a wicked sting.
So wicked that the excruciating pain can incapacitate an
adult human. The pain is also long lasting and can even
turn into a condition called hyperalgesia, a heightened
sensitivity to pain that may last for weeks or months
following the initial sting.
TARANTULA HAWK WASP
The tarantula hawk wasp is only two inches long and three
inches wide, looks totally harmless, but the damage its bite
can do is one of a kind. However, while it’s very close to the
most painful sting on Earth, the agony and pain lasts only
a few minutes.
This not so intimidating-looking ant is capable of inflicting the
most agonizing sting in the insect world. The Schmidt Pain
Index describes it as “pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like
Fire walking over flaming charcoal with a three inch rusty
nail in your heel.” According to victims who have suffered
both the misfortune of being stung by a bullet ant and
being shot with a firearm, the feeling is similar (hence
the name). And the pain can last for twelve hours.