There are many creatures in the animal kingdom that are venomous, but not all venom is created equal. Some stings and bites may feel like simple irritants, inconsequential, you would barely even feel them. On the other hand, there are bites and stings that can induce mind numbing and potentially incapacitating pain that is so painful, most people lack an adequate way of describing the experience. The good news is, for the most part, the bites on this list are not normally fatal (even though though the pain may feel like it’s fatal). Nevertheless, some of these creatures can attack in masses and as such potentially kill their victim. If you are out and about and you come into contact with one of these creatures, your best bet is to leave them alone. Seriously! Run! Flee! Stay as far as you can, because these stings are what your worst nightmares are made of. Just to give you an idea, some of these bites and stings have been described as bullet wounds, hot screwdrivers being drilled into a person’s leg, and a host of other similar disturbing sensations. So familiarize yourself with these critters (and avoid them)!
These are 25 Painful Bites and Stings You Might Not Be Able To Handle.
Brazilian Wandering Spider
These species are sometimes also referred to as banana spiders because they are frequently found on banana leaves. They have an aggressive defense posture, in which they raise their front legs straight up in the air. They are extremely poisonous to humans, and they are considered to be the deadliest of the world’s spiders. Their venom is toxic to the nervous system, causing symptoms such as extreme pain, salivation, irregular heartbeat, and prolonged, painful erections (known as priapism).
These tiny creatures feed mainly on blood, can often be found inside the gills of other fish, and have been known to swim up a human’s urethra. Once they wiggle their way inside, they expand, nestle in, and send you to the emergency room in need of an invasive medical extraction. Though sometimes considered an urban legend, the candiru is a real threat to unknowing swimmers and the pain their bite causes has been described as unrealistically horrible.
Arizona Bark Scorpion
These are the most venomous scorpions in North America—a frightening fact considering that this is the most commonly encountered house scorpion in Arizona. The venom causes acute pain and can lead to frothing at the mouth, breathing difficulties, and muscle convulsions. Limbs may become immobilized. Though the venom is rarely fatal, its effects can last for as long as seventy-two excruciating hours.
There are more deadly snakebites than those delivered by a viper, but viper bites are reputed to be the most painful. Van Wallach of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology describes his worst encounter with a viper as follows: “It felt like somebody had a blowtorch and was burning the inside of your arm. It went on for three straight days before I had any relief.” Of course, envenomation from a viper can also kill you, so it’s best to avoid these slithery serpents at all costs.
Not every creature on this list is capable of delivering a painful sting that can kill you, but the stonefish is one of the exceptions. Stonefish are the most venomous fish in the world, delivering often-fatal stings to humans as well. An ancient dance ritual performed by Australian Aborigines is a lesson in the dangers of the stonefish: the dancer displays terrible agony, writhing on the ground until finally succumbing to a death song. Needless to say, this is one fish you don’t want to accidentally step on while walking on the beach.