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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

The bullet ant (Paraponera clavata) gets its name from the shot of intense pain it delivers with its venom-filled sting. The recipient experiences its agonising effects for the next 12 - 24 hours.

Living in the South American rainforest and growing to around an inch (2.54cm) long, most of us are capable of keeping out of its way.

http://www.bbc.com/e...ul-insect-sting

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I can certainly relate to that article.

My friends, Cindy & Bill, live in Louisiana. They recently bought a “fixer-upper” home on Bayou Terrabonne, near the Gulf of Mexico. The yard and the bayou frontage had been neglected for some time, and needed the attention of an amateur landscape artist (me).

Louisiana has fire ants. I’ve always been curious to see just how serious their bites are, having heard ghastly stories of people writhing in pain after being swarmed by hundreds of the little creatures. I just couldn’t imagine that a tiny ant could be so harmful.

And it turns out I was right! Well, sort of. As I was pulling weeds and chopping the tangled vines that had grown up through the chain-link fence, I looked down and saw a red cloud moving up my work glove and on to my arm. I stood there with my mouth open, fascinated, watching a horde of tiny ants moving in sync, acting as a cohesive unit to protect their territory.

I came to my senses, and I gently brushed the ants off of my arm and my glove. I told Cindy and Bill, “Hey, I guess I got into a nest of fire ants.” They ran over to me immediately, with dire looks of concern on their faces. They were seriously worried, and Bill asked Cindy to go in the house to get the First Aid Kit. I thought it was funny to see them overreacting to a few little ant bites! I honestly felt no pain or irritation at all. The only reaction I had from the bites were some little red bumps on my arm.

Later that day, as I was chopping down some banana trees (they were damaged by below-freezing temperatures), I looked down at my legs and saw the tell-tale red bumps of yet another ant encounter. I hadn’t felt a thing! It gave me an entirely different perspective on those often-maligned yet delightful ginger-colored creatures of the earth! Whereas once I had ambivalent feelings toward fire ants, and had frightful visions of myself writhing in pain on the ground, I now held a deep respect for those fascinating and industrious little workers.

About a week later I was at home, lounging on the sofa, watching a movie, when some of those little red bumps started feeling itchy. Now, I’m always careful not to scratch mosquito bites or poison ivy, because it only gets worse. Unfortunately, I gave in to the incessant itching of those little red bumps. It’s not too much of an exaggeration to tell you that the air in my living room was soon filled with broken fingernails, bloody chunks of flesh, and more than a few colorful words. And the writhing! Oh, the writhing....

I’m much better now. I’ll keep applying the Vitamin E lotion, and hopefully the scars won’t be so noticeable. But a word of caution to all of you if you’re ever traveling down South: Avoid the Fire Ants! Evil little creatures, they are. Every one of ’em.

 

 

Edited by simplybill
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yeah...fire ants suck! But the ants in the OP story...good grief...intense pain for 12 hours or more? Damn! And I thought Yellow Jacket stings were the most painful...and they are...trust me...but they don't sting for 12 freaking hours.

Edited by joc
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I've been attacked by fire ants and it was the most painful thing!! :passifier: Shear torture! @simplybill - I feel for you. Same for me I was doing some yard work in Freeport GBI. Those little suckers hurt like hell and it lasts forever! I spent the following week or so soaking my foot and calf in the sea for a very long time - ugh!

Edited to add: I can't believe the pain scale for a honey bee is higher than the fire ant. I've had both and the fire ant was much worse for me. I don't mind bee stings. I like bees and I try to get them to visit my garden. Maybe it's because the bee sting is quick done and over in a few days whereas the fire ant stays with you for like a week to 10 days?

Just thought that was weird.

Edited by She-ra
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I got stung by a bumble bee once! I still think they are awesome though..:D

Wasps and hornets not so much..:P

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We got one in Florida that will put you on the ground, the velvet ant, also called cow killer ant. They are usually mellow, but if you step on one they put a fire ant to shame. I had one drop out of a tree into my shirt while camping and it put me on my knees.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutillidae#Range

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We got one in Florida that will put you on the ground, the velvet ant, also called cow killer ant. They are usually mellow, but if you step on one they put a fire ant to shame. I had one drop out of a tree into my shirt while camping and it put me on my knees.

http://en.wikipedia....utillidae#Range

The Velvet Ant is a wingless wasp, not a true ant and generally I have found wasp stings to be much more painful than ant stings, at least locally. Never been hit by a Bullet Any and don't want to be.

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I guess that's why they're not called the "soothing kiss ant."

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enter in...the dominatrix in the tarantula hawk outfit...

Tell me more..

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are those the same ants that they use in initiation and for the test of manhood in a tribe deep in the jungles?

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Am I the only one who has picked up on the fact that this guy goes around getting intentionally stung by bugs for a living? Of what possible value could this be to science? I think I'll start going around to various offices to see which stapler hurts the worst when you accidentally pound one into your finger. That should produce invaluable information for the office supply industry.

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Before I die I want to be bitten by one of these. And if that doesn't put a nail in my coffin I want to be eaten alive by a living dinosaur...a massive Great White shark. They are a great example of how badass Mother Nature is. I don't want to die slowly from cancer or a random heart attack. I want to go out in style :)

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Before I die I want to be bitten by one of these. And if that doesn't put a nail in my coffin I want to be eaten alive by a living dinosaur...a massive Great White shark. They are a great example of how badass Mother Nature is. I don't want to die slowly from cancer or a random heart attack. I want to go out in style :)

Shark attack has to be one of the worst ways you can go! Well being eaten by anything would suck hard!

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Shark attack has to be one of the worst ways you can go! Well being eaten by anything would suck hard!

Yes I agree but we are all going down sometime. And I have the upmost respect for Mother Nature that I wouldn't mind going out this way. Only after a long fulfilled life of course. Or a quick lightning strike. I want the planet to take me out quickly. No suffering allowed in my world.

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In the Southwest, we have what are called Tarantula Hawks, (Huge Black wasps with Bright red wings) which supposedly have one of the most painful stings of any insect. Thank goodness I can't verify how painful the stings are, because I haven't been stung by one yet. Unfortunately, our new home seems to be a magnet for the critters as they keep getting inside somehow! :cry:

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  • 1 month later...

I've endured fire ants, wasp stings, yellow jacket stings, etc, but a bumble bee gave me a near fatal sting that made me swell from head to foot. I was mowing grass and it got me right on the neck. In the Catskills where we go for vacation, I have witnessed huge hornets far bigger than a bumble bee . In fact, over twice the size. These guys get right in your face and follow you around. This was not a Cicada killer, it looked just like a bald faced hornet only twice the size.These scary boys have a loud deep sound as they fly . I thought it might be a killer bee queen due to it's aggressive nature, but they have not been known to inhabit NY.No one had any idea what it might be but I finally guessed that it could be a hornet that wintered over and just became much bigger than normal. Don't know if that's even possible. This critter was around about three years ago. I'm happy to report it's been missing for the past two years..(he never nailed me)

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