'Kings of Pain': Adam Thorn and Rob Alleva get stung by executioner wasp, warrior wasp, and Goliath birdeater in nerve-wracking premiere
Biologist Adam Thorn and professional animal handler Rob 'Caveman' Alleva is taking this journey to create a comprehensive pain index that will ultimately help save lives.
Two men in the woods, looking for the worst things to bite them in the name of science - History's new show 'Kings of Pain' does not leave anything to the imagination. The stings and bites, the damage and the brutal pain are all on the table and it's definitely not for the faint of heart.
Through the season, biologist Adam Thorn and professional animal handler Rob 'Caveman' Alleva will voluntarily give up their functioning limbs to the likes of reticulated pythons, rove beetles, and piranhas so they can have a little taste of their might. The duo is taking this journey to create a comprehensive pain index that will ultimately help save lives, adding to entomologist Dr. Justin O. Schmidt's pain index by adding more venom, fangs and a world of pain. Crazy right? Not as crazy as watching them get stung by an executioner wasp, a warrior wasp, and a giant birding tarantula - with the last one leaving Thorn's hand almost twice its size.
Now here's the thing about the executioner wasp, it has its name for a reason. Scientifically called the Polistes carnifex, this wasp stings bad and is widely known for its potent bite. Quite large, the yellow-and-brown bodied wasps are the longest living in the species. Although not known to be aggressive, their sting has a chilling reputation of being your worst nightmare. After getting stung, while Caveman seems to take it considerably well, Thorn almost passes out.
After the sting breaks through his skin like a sharp needle, he immediately understands its reputation. His blood pressure plummets to a 76/151 and his heart rate goes up, risking an anaphylactic shock as the venom starts to cut off the oxygen to his brain. On their pain index, it scores a 14.50 out of 30. If you can't imagine that, 3 is the pain index for a honey bee sting.
The next insect, also a wasp was an absolute surprise. Multiple stings from Synoeca or the warrior wasp can kill you. If you're allergic, one sting is enough. Known for their aggressive behavior, the wasps threaten their attacker by beating their wings in synchrony - hence the name. Their sting? Not just fatal but also so painful that Schmidt has put the sting of Synoeca wasps high up in the rankings on his Schmidt sting pain index and has described it as "torture. You are chained in the flow of an active volcano."
Nerve-wracking as it is, the two sit down to be stung by the Wasp and lo and behold - they don't feel a thing. What they later realize is that it is perhaps because they're away from their nest and the insects don't bite unless their home is threatened. The cherry on the cake that was this episode was the bite from The Goliath birdeater - a hairy spider so large, it can eat mammals whole. Another creepy fact - it rarely eats birds.
The tarantula is 10 times the size of a normal house spider and has fangs large enough to break the skin of a human. Ranging from 2-4 cm, these fangs carry the venom of the birdeater and they bite when threatened - in self-defense. Although the venom is said to be relatively harmless, Thorn finds his arm paralyzing and going numb, before medics rush in to help. However, the pain definitely kicks in the next day. It also scores a 14 on the pain index.
While these three insects were certainly not disappointing in terms of the scare the show is offering, we have a feeling they're just getting started.
Catch the next episode of 'Kings of Pain' on Tuesday at 10/9c.