JUN 30, 2016 2:18 PM PDT

10 Bugs with the Worst Bite

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Looking at size alone, insects are puny and unassuming - one step with our boot can wipe out nearly a colony of these tiny critters. But for some bugs, size is not equal to the strength of pain they can inflict on fully grown humans. If you're thinking about a common ant bite or a bee sting, think bigger, think more painful.

Unlike black ants, bullet ants inflict a pain so severe that some have described it to a gunshot wound. In one description by Justin Schmidt, an entomologist who came up with the "Schmidt Index Pain," a bite by a bullet ant was described as "Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail grinding into your heel."

And no worst-bite list can be complete without the famed black widow spider. Marked by a distinctive red hourglass shape on its abdomen, the female black widow's bite can cause severe muscle spasms and abdominal cramps that can last as long as several weeks!

Watch the video to learn a few more small critters that you should probably never antagonize.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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