Bike path hazard

Monday evening: I was Just Riding Along on the Guadalupe River Trail in San Jose when one of these guys flew RIGHT INTO MY MOUTH!

Hornet on an ivy-bud

She made it as far as my tongue before I spit her out, but she managed to tag me good on the inside of my lower lip. Ouch!

Looking into stings led me to a Wikipedia article on The Schmidt Sting Pain Index, which rates pain from various insect stings. I’,m pretty sure I don’t want to be stung by a “bullet ant,” whatever that is, which rates a 4.0+ and is described as “Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail grinding into your heel.”

So I look into the bullet ant and learn an indigenous tribe in Brazil uses this ant for their warrior initiation ceremony:

The ants are first rendered unconscious by submerging them in a natural sedative and then hundreds of them are woven into a glove made out of leaves (which resembles a large oven mitt), stinger facing inward. When the ants regain consciousness, a boy slips the glove onto his hand. The goal of this initiation rite is to keep the glove on for a full ten minutes. When finished, the boy’s hand and part of his arm are temporarily paralyzed because of the ant venom, and he may shake uncontrollably for days.


  • cmowire
    May 8, 2012 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    So… what you are saying is that, despite having children and a wife, you were not a man until Monday evening? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • May 8, 2012 - 10:39 am | Permalink


  • May 8, 2012 - 11:39 am | Permalink

    That’s what I said too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • May 8, 2012 - 11:40 am | Permalink

    …or at least not a Brazilian jungle warrior. ย And I thought Seal Team training looked tough.

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