WE’VE MOVED HERE! COME SAY HELLO!
The bullet ant is so named as the power of its sting is said to be as painful as having a lump of searing hot lead travelling at a couple of hundred miles an hour puncture your buttocks, the scary thing is whoever was unlucky enough to name it is probably right. Local tribes also call the ant the ‘twenty four hour ant’ and the ‘AANJEEESSSSUSSFECCCKINGHHAITCHHHHFARRRRK’.
In fact the bullet ant is said to have the most painful sting in the world according to the Schmidt Sting index. This Schmidt chap was a bally legend who circumnavigated the planet getting smarted by all the creepy crawlies he could. He described the pain of a bullet ant sting as ‘Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over charcoal with a three inch rusty nail in your heel’. Just in case you lovely readers have never had the pleasure of fire-walking-with-a-three-inch-rusty-nail-in-your-heel, Schmidt went on to describe pretty much every stinger you can imagine. He described a paperwasp sting as ‘Caustic and burning… like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut’. Wasp stings get a mention as ‘Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W. C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.’ Schmidt described being stung by a sweat bee as ‘light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm.’ As you can imagine there was very little that was fruity about Schmidt chap, though he was rather odd.
It’s fair to say that the sting of the bullet ant really really hurts. Not only that, it can bite… hard. In fact it bites so hard that if it doesn’t break whatever it bites the force catapults the ant into the air.
The Satere-Mawe people of Brazil use these formidable buggers as an initiation into manhood. They take the ants, put them to sleep with a natural chloroform, then weave them into gloves, with the stinger facing inwards. Its fair to say that wearing the gloves really really hurts. Thankfully the hapless Satere-Mawe boys only have to go through the initiation twenty times. Explaining why, at least part way, Satere Mawe teenage boys are rather sullen and covered in red spots.