By Chloe Aiello
Wildlife adventurer Coyote Peterson has been bitten, stung, and poked by a lot of creatures. But of all the critters in the insect universe, Peterson said the most painful sting of all belongs to the Executioner Wasp.
"Have you ever poked around in the logs of a fire with one of those pokers? Imagine that getting stuck into your arm ... this is a burning that just continues over, and over, and over, and over. You have to just mentally put yourself in this place of meditation," Peterson told Cheddar Thursday.
He said the pain lasted about 36 hours, and some of his arm tissue decayed as a result.
Given the level of pain, it may come as a surprise that the bite was no accident ー Peterson did it for his fans. A Steve Irwin-style adventurer, Peterson is the star and founder of Brave Wilderness, a YouTube Channel with more than 13 million subscribers. In his videos, he chronicles his run-ins with insects of all shapes and sizes, as well as snakes, bears, plants, and even an Irwin favorite, the crocodile.
Some of his most popular videos document the adventurer being stung by various insects. He's working his way through a pain index, originally written by Dr. Justin Schmidt. The so-called Schmidt Sting Pain Index ranks stings by intensity ー and the Executioner Wasp is very near the top.
Peterson says there are inherent risks to his antics, including anaphylaxis, but says he and his team take "very calculated risks" and do extensive research.
Barring an allergic reaction, he said that "in most cases, you'll be just fine; it's just very painful."
In addition to his YouTube channel, Peterson is partnering with Discovery on a long-form televisions series, featuring wild expeditions and rare up-close animal experiences. It will premiere on Animal Planet in 2019. In late November, he published a book, "The King of Sting," that coincides with his sting index adventures.
And for those internet lurkers searching for a dose of schadenfreude, Peterson's Executioner Wasp sting video will debut on his YouTube channel Dec. 21. But make no mistake: It won't be for the weak of heart or stomach. Audiences should expect plenty of teeth gnashing, sweating, yelling, and writhing ー but don't expect tears.
"Coyote Peterson doesn't cry," Peterson said.
For full interview click here.