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Nature’s Worst Bites and Stings, As Told by Coyote Peterson

Coyote Peterson is many things, including an animal whisperer, a daredevil, and a regular on the Brave Wilderness YouTube channel, but he is not immortal, and based on his personal experience, he does not recommend the following bites and stings. Outdoors.com sat down with Coyote to get the insider scoop on his most excruciating stings and bites—at least one of which required Vicodin to get through. 

Stung . . . on Purpose?

First, it should be noted that Coyote, who is an intrepid adventurer and animal lover, goes into the wild and purposefully gets bitten and stung. But why? For education, he says, and to learn more about the animal he’s coming in such painfully close contact with.

In addition to the intentional bites and stings (by the way, he never takes any intentional bites or stings from things like a venomous snake or a shark), Coyote has also been bitten by a lot of things accidentally. In fact, he has been bitten or stung by well over 50 different organisms, and the number of times he’s been stung is hundreds upon hundreds. “Because with things like jellyfish [and] fire ants, you’re getting tons of stings and you can’t really quantify [it],” he explains.

Coyote calls himself a human pin cushion thanks to all the experiments he’s done on himself. Thankfully, Coyote has been able to stay miraculously healthy through all the bites and stings his body has taken in the name of entertainment and education. 

Here is what he had to say about the worst ones he’s experienced so far.

Part 1: Stings

Executioner Wasp

“The most painful thing that I have taken at this point as a singular sting is by something called an executioner wasp. It’s got a very potent venom that actually has necrotic components to its venom, and it will actually cook a hole in your skin. So, if you were to disturb a nest of executioner wasps and be stung multiple times, you would be in a lot of trouble,” Coyote said. 

Japanese Giant Hornet

The executioner wasp is number one on the list, and Coyote said that terrible experience is closely followed by his experience being stung by the Japanese giant hornet—also known as murder hornets. Watch the video, and you’ll see why.

Bullet Ant and Warrior Wasp (Tie)

In third place for the most painful sting Coyote has endured are the bullet ant and the warrior wasp (Synoeca)—which he says are a tie. Watch him take a bullet ant sting, though, and it’ll be clear that a tie for third place is still extremely painful. 

Part 2: Bites

Coyote says venomous bites are far worse than venomous stings. Here are his top two most painful bites so far.

Gila Monster

Coyote told us what it felt like when he was unintentionally bitten by a Gila monster, a venomous lizard native to the southwestern U.S. 

“This is an experience you never want to go through,” he says. “I was accidentally bitten by a Gila monster. My thumb was in its mouth for less than a second, and I went through about eight hours of excruciating pain that is unstoppable. There’s no anti-venom for it. Your body just had to absorb the venom and you have to endure what is, honestly, probably if not the worst, one of the worst pains I’ve ever been through. And I’ve been through a lot of pain,” he said.

Giant Desert Centipede

“The second-worst bite I ever took was from something called a giant desert centipede,” Coyote said. “The venom from that animal specifically breaks down red blood cells, so the venom seeps into the cell and explodes it from the inside out. If you can imagine that venom going into your body and your forearms, swelling up to nearly three times in size while your blood cells are literally detonating, you’ll begin to understand the nine hours of pain that I went through with that one. And it’s actually the only bite or sting that I’ve gone and sought medical attention for because the swelling got so bad. And the pain was so intense. After about nine hours, I did go to an emergency room and had to get prescribed adult-strength Advil, which you and I may call Vicodin, to help get me through the pain.”

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