comScore What Are the Worst Places to Be Stung by a Bee? | The Mary Sue

Man Whose Balls Were Attacked by a Bee Conducts Study Into the Most Painful Places to Be Stung

No Wicker Man GIF this time. We're just full of surprises.



Scenario: you’re being chased by killer bees. Perhaps you are hiking alone in the wilderness, or maybe you’re part of a pagan ritual to bring the island prosperity. You have to fend the swarm off with one body part. Which one do you choose?

If you don’t have an answer yet, Michael Smith of Cornell does. He conducted a study where he forced bees to sting him all over (literally) his body. Apparently, a testicle sting is surprisingly painless, although you’d probably need ninja powers to use that info in the event of an attack.

After accidentally enduring a ball sting, Smith took it upon himself to conduct a rigorous investigation. Volunteers were understandably hard to come by, so the intrepid honeybee researcher used himself as a guinea pig and spent every morning for 38 days pressing a bee to a body part “haphazardly with forceps.” Smith rated pain on a scale scale of one to ten and began and ended every session with test stings on his forearms. He commented in his paper, “Some locations required the use of a mirror and an erect posture during stinging (e.g., buttocks).”

Smith forced bees to sting each of his body part three times, even on the areas he found the most excruciating: the nostril, lip and penis.

Smith explained the cringe-worthy penis experiment to Ed Yong of National Geographic:

It’s painful, and there’s definitely no crossing of wires of pleasure and pain down there. But if you’re stung in the nose and penis, you’re going to want more stings to the penis over the nose, if you’re forced to choose.

Noted. Smith admitted to Yong that his findings are probably not definitive, saying, “If someone else did this, they’d probably have different locations that they felt were worst,” but that he “didn’t see a lot of merit in repeating this with more subjects.” I, for one, am curious how the female anatomy would fare in an attack.

Are there any ladies willing to step forward?

(via Neatorama and National Geographic, images via The Wicker Man)

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