Coyote Peterson: The Jackass of Agonising Insect Stings

Coyote Peterson and the bullet ant

After reading Murder Hornets and More by the ABOVE Average Blog, we decided to cover Coyote Peterson. He’s the Johnny Knoxville of YouTube.

How to Take an Insect Sting

There’s this thing called the Schmidt sting pain index.

Entomologist Justin O. Schmidt developed it to document the various agonising stings he received out in the wild.

The first time we read about that years ago, we thought Schmidt was insane enough to deliberately sting himself to get the rating system together.

But, no. His ratings all came about due to bad luck—the nature of his job.

Coyote Peterson does the opposite. From Ohio, he’s a presenter and also classes himself as a wildlife educator.

But he has the whole Steve Irwin thing going on. He puts himself in dangerous situations and the viewers (of which he has tens of millions) revel in his anguish.

Take the bullet ant clip above—that’s the norm. Really, we find his videos morbidly fascinating. Like this one with the giant hornet.

If you can’t stomach watching any of these videos we’re here to provide a breakdown. They go as follows:

  • Peterson discusses the nature of that episode’s (usually) insect and how painful its sting is.
  • He and his camera crew head into the wild to find the, respective, insect (makes us think of “insect politics” and The Fly).
  • They capture one of the insects in question.
  • There’s debate and buildup about what the sting will do—and reminders Peterson has appropriate medical equipment on hand (in case he goes into anaphylactic shock).
  • Noticeably nervous and usually sweating, Jackass style he says, “I’m Coyote Peterson, and this is the [insert horrifying sting of choice]”.
  • Peterson then jams the insect onto his forearm and waits for it to sting him.
  • It eventually does sting him.
  • Peterson starts shrieking and screaming in pain.

After that, he’ll usually writhe around on the floor in agony, gasping for breath, and clearly not in the best of shape.

Now, Peterson claims he’s doing this for educational purposes. So the world is aware of just how painful this stuff is.

But we’re sure the 45+ million viewership helps. And we’re pretty sure if you saw 80% of these creatures you’d run a mile.

We can’t say we like him nabbing these creatures and forcing them into this situation. But, whatever, this is his career path. It’s just an odd one. But not at all unprecedented.

Messing With Nature

A few individuals have pushed the boundaries over the years in the name of fame and fortune.

We remember watching Steve Irwin’s TV show kind of in awe in the early 2000s.

The above clip in particular we recall—Irwin hurling himself on the floor at a highly dangerous snake. Or wrestling with a crocodile. Or other odd things.

Aged 44 in September 2006, a stingray barb led to his unfortunate demise.

We also think of Timothy Treadwell. He led to an astonishing character study in Werner Herzog’s incredible documentary Grizzly Man.

There’s a pretty clear message here, we think. Respect the old nature, eh?

Now, it’s easy for us to say that here in England. The most dangerous things here are wasps and the occasional stray cow.

But we don’t hang out with wasps. Or cows. Nor ask cows to bite us, or some such. So, yeah, well… we’re conflicted on Mr. Peterson.

Light entertainment in the name of bellowing, writhing agony. Nice.

Dispense with some gibberish!

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