An American YouTuber had the bright idea of purposely allowing himself to be stung by a tarantula hawk spider wasp. The result? He is contorted in pain for several minutes, while his arm becomes temporarily paralysed.
What could possibly bring someone to voluntarily receive a sting from one of the toughest insects on the planet? Curiosity about the pain perhaps? This was recently the case for Coyote Peterson, an American YouTuber who experimented with the pain caused by a sting from a tarantula hawk, a spider wasp that spends its time killing none other than…. tarantulas.
Coyote Peterson is someone who loves to try new experiences, as can be seen on his YouTube channel Brave Wilderness. The channel shows him taking on numerous challenges such as being bitten by a snapping turtle, rubbing himself with the venom of a Pterois (lionfish) or even letting himself be attacked by 3,000 bees at the same time. However, this time, he appears to have met his match.
Measuring 5 cm long, the tarantula hawk spider is not the most friendly character, despite the elegance of its colours. It is a member of the Pepsini family, rated 4.0 on the Schmidt sting pain index, a classification of various venoms ranked in order of the intensity of the pain felt, in the same way as the Scoville Scale measures the strength of various chilli peppers.
Justin O. Schmidt is an American entomologist, now 70 years of age, who deemed it appropriate to be stung by all sorts of horrible beasts, and to establish a hierarchy of pain. In 1990, this famous index listed vivid descriptions of the stings of 78 different insect species.
Our poor Coyote Peterson, whose experiment became the focus of a video published on the 18th October 2016, suffered significantly. After having used a pincers to draw the tarantula hawk out of the net it was captured in, he simply placed the insect against his arm. Cornered, the spider wasp obviously stung him.
Peterson’s reaction was intense, especially as it didn’t stop at incredible pain! After lying down, the YouTuber noticed his arm becoming paralysed and his fist tightened. Fortunately, the paralysis was temporary. In the heat of the action, when he was creased up in pain, Peterson even admitted that he feared for his arm.
Over 30 million people have watched the video below, but no one would blame you for skipping directly to the action, which starts at 10:20 after a long preamble: