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[VIDEO] Bee Stings: Where Getting Stung Hurts the Most

Sep 20, 2015 09:42 PM EDT
Paper Wasp
A recent Cornell University study examined where the worst, or most painful, place to get stung is.
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons )

Have you ever thought about where the worst place to get stung by a bee would be? If you have ever gotten stung before, I am sure that in the moment, you thought that the pain couldn't get any worse. Well if you have never been stung on the nose, it turns out that it can, according to Michael Smith, a graduate student from Cornell University.

Smith subjected himself to stings throughout 25 different places on his body. According to his study, published in PeerJ, the stings ranged from places on his foot all the way to his head, and many other places in between. For several weeks he endured multiple stings each day to determine which of these areas were most sensitive. Although stings to his genitals were uncomfortable, Smith concluded that the worst place for a bee to attach was one's nose, with the upper lip being the second worst place. 

 Bee Stings
(Photo : PeerJ)
The areas where Michael Smith was stung for his study.

Dr. Justin Schmidt, an entomologist from the Southwestern Biological Institute at the University of Arizona, worked alongside Smith. Schmidt is the creator of his own pain scale, called the Schmidt Sting Pain Index. This scale rates pain caused by wasps, bees and ants and was used for Smith's study.

The Schmidt Sting Pain Index uses the honeybee as a reference point when rating the painfulness of some species' stings. When Smith was stung in each of the 25 different locations, the pain he endured was rated on a scale of one to 10. For consistency, the sting was repeated three times, in which the pain ratings remained consistent. From this, the researchers determined that sting location was a significant predictor of the differing pain ratings. 

Smith was recently awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for physiology for his study. This "spoof" Nobel Prize, is in its 25th year and honors scientific achievements that make people laugh and then think. A video detailing Smith's study can be found online

Among this year's other winners was the University of Chile, who recieved the Ig Nobel Prize for biology. Scientists discovered if you attach a weighted stick to a chicken's tail, it walks similarly to how paleontologists believe dinosaurs would have.

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

-Follow Samantha on Twitter @Sam_Ashley13

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