How painful is that sting?June 4, 2012 @ 10:02 am
The bees are out in my garden, which means I'm telling my two year olds to look but not touch. We all know stings hurt -- but how much do they hurt? That's what entomologist Justin Schmidt wanted to know in the 1980s. So he created a pain scale that's still used today.
It starts with the Sweat Bee, at 1.0 on a 4-point scale. "How the sting feels: Light, ephemeral, almost fruity. As if a tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm."
It goes all the way up to the Bullet Ant, at 4.0. "Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail in your heel."
And lots of vivid descriptions in between.
My co-host Linda Thomas asked a good question when we discussed this on the air: How did this guy determine the pain level of things like hydrochloric acid on a paper cut? Don't know, don't know.
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