'Kings of Pain': Adam Thorn almost faints after risking his life and getting stung by a scorpionfish
This week, biologists Adam Thorn and Rob Alleva are in for the sting of their lives after they force a scorpionfish to sting them and get into dangerous waters to get hold of the nasty toe biter beetle.
We've always suspected that the creepy crawlies in the sea are worse than those on land, and it seems like those suspicions have been confirmed. The Pain Index gets more crowded as the weeks go by and so do the jokes but the mission to further entomologist Dr. Justin Schmidt's pain scale marches on.
This week, biologist Adam Thorn and Rob Alleva are in for the sting of their lives after they force a scorpionfish to sting them and get into dangerous waters to get hold of the nasty toe biter beetle. As the number of creatures diminishes, their score on the Index seems to rise. With just three more episodes to go, the creatures this week were the toe biter and a scorpionfish - and the latter had Adam almost fainting.
Toe Biter (Lethocerus)
Pain Index score: 12/30
Just because it sounds non-threatening because of the score, doesn't mean you shouldn't be careful of one. This beetle is one of the giant water bugs found in the world and they live in freshwater ponds and marshes. Think stepping on some weeds in a pond and finding one of these in there. They are dark insects and are fairly large, growing up to 4.5 inches long. They're found everywhere in the world.
They are predators and their venom has a digestive enzyme that liquifies the insides of their prey allowing the beetle to drink their prey. It eats snails, fish, fish, and even ducklings. Adam has a pretty hard time with this one, as it left a good red bump on his arm. After the initial searing pain, followed by a dull ache, this insect wasn't as painful as originally expected.
Scorpion Fish (Scorpaena)
Pain Index score: 20.5/30
Remember the lionfish? It has got nothing on this Scorpaena. They are painful stingers, with their sharp spines that go up to 8 inches long, coated with venomous mucus. It can cause elevated heart rate, trouble breathing and high blood pressure, causing a person to go into an anaphylactic shock. What makes it even worse is that it can camouflage so well, you can barely see it while swimming in the sea.
These guys can eat baby octopuses. The sting of a California scorpionfish feels like a rattlesnake bite, with throbbing pain, heat, and numbness, as well as systemic nausea, faintness and clammy skin. Its venom is also toxic to the heart. Sometimes, it can even cause death. Adam almost loses consciousness and for the first time in the show, medical intervention was needed - it was pretty bad.
More nasty bites and stings coming up next week - catch it on History every Tuesday at 10/9c.