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No Pain, No Gain...No Thanks!

No Pain, No Gain...No Thanks!

Justin Schmidt allowed himself to be stung by over 78 different species of insect so he could compile a pain index of which ones hurt the most...All in the name of science.


Justin Schmidt is an American entomologist, co-author of Insect Defenses: Adaptive Mechanisms and Strategies of Prey and Predators and creator of the Schmidt Sting Pain Index. This pain index is a score given to the pain of an insects sting. This has lead Schmidt to study hundreds of insects from all over the globe. As a result over the course of his academic career he as been stung by most, if not all, of the creatures he has studied.

He categorised the intensity of the pain on a scale of 0-4, where 0 was no pain and 4 was said to be "Traumatically" painful.

The pain index:
0 - No Pain.
1 - Pain so slight as to constitute no real deterrent.
2 - Painful.
3 - Sharply and seriously painful.
4 - Traumatically painful.

The image below demonstrates the effect the venom of 10 different insects had on Schmidt. In follow up research published in 1990, he has classified the painfulness of 78 different insect stings! 

pain score compressor

American entomologist
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