Getting stung by a fire ant hurts. Getting stung by a tarantula hawk hurts much, much more. But how much more does it hurt, exactly? And where does something like a honey bee rank on the pain scale?
For decades, answers to questions like these have been found by referencing the Schmidt pain index, a scale first developed and published in 1984 thanks to the self-sacrificing work of entomologist Justin O. Schmidt. The index seeks to rank the painfulness of dozens of Hymenoptera stings across a four-point spectrum. Some of these insects even warrant their own verbal descriptions; and those descriptions, as you might expect, are pretty damn awesome.