'Kings of Pain': Rob Alleva learns a new lesson, gets bitten by a massive Nile monitor lizard for 11 minutes straight
This week starts with a trip to Zululand in Africa as biologist Adam Thorn and professional animal handler Rob Alleva set out in search for the two most anticipated bites of the season.
The show seems to get nastier each week and you want to look away but you can't.
Last week, Rob Alleva and Adam Thorn got stung by a tarantula hawk, harvester ants and the Crown of thorns starfish and it was bloody and messy but if you thought that was bad, wait till you see the teeth on the Nile monitor lizard and the sting on the velvet ant. Rob gets two bites from the massive reptile after it refuses to let him got for a whole 11 minutes!
This week starts with a trip to Zululand in Africa as biologist Adam Thorn and professional animal handler Rob Alleva set out in search of the two most anticipated bites of the season. They encounter a hippopotamus as they go looking for the creepy crawlies at night in the thick swamps and it almost turns their boat over. While they did look genuinely shaken, this episode really makes you wonder what the season finale would look like. Painful, for sure.
Velvet ants (Mutillidae)
Pain Index score: 13.25
They only look like ants - they're actually wasps.
The worst thing about a velvet ant is its sting. It's almost half as long as its entire body and gets its name from its dense pile of hair, which most often is bright scarlet or orange. It's also known as the cow killer. The sting of the species rated a 3 on the Schmidt pain index and entomologist Dr. Justin O. Schmidt described it as hot oil being poured on your entire hand. The sting lasts up to 30 minutes.
Although this sting was expected to be as breezy as it can be when you're being stung by things, it didn't go down so well. Lots of cursing involved - big stings definitely come in small packages with this one. It did beat both the scorpions - South African bark scorpion and the Uroplectes scorpion.
Nile monitor lizards
Pain Index score: 17.5
The Nile monitor lizard's excruciating bite has never been recorded on a human - a worthy addition to the Pain Index. The duo is taking this journey to create a comprehensive pain index that will ultimately help save lives, adding to entomologist Dr. Schmidt's pain index by adding more venom, fangs, and stings. While Dr. Schmidt's index was up till five, these guys are expanding it to 30, with three being the baseline for a honey bee sting.
The lizard is massive and can grow up to 7 ft 3 inches in length. They not only have very strong claws and a powerful jaw, but they're also very muscular, making them hard to control. The tail is like another weapon to the reptile and it slashes it around, knocking whatever is in the way. Their jaws are known to crush bones. The forked tongue lizard is a formidable creature, especially because once they grab you, they don't let go. Rob would learn that in a matter of two bites that lasted forever.
More nasty bites and stings coming up next week - catch it on History every Tuesday at 10/9c.