Ants as big as your thumb!
Known as the Conga Ant to the locals, it is also referred to as the Bullet Ant.
Because it’s sting feels like getting shot.
I’m happy to report that I did not get stung within the Amazon jungle.
But I did see them walking around in a couple different spots. Unfortunately, with its fast scurrying around I didn’t get a good photo so here’s a stock image instead.
My first experience with ants was as a kid, just the tiny ones that invade your home.
Later on, up in mountains I saw that ants could be two to three times as big.
And in the Amazon even bigger than that.
I wonder if there is any medicinal effect from them? In researching this I came across the following.
The Satere-Mawe men of Brazil endure these stings as part of their initiation into becoming a warrior by wearing gloves full of the ants. And not once but twenty different times!
Steve Backshall, an adventurer and naturalist, said that, “The pain is throughout your whole body. You start shaking. You start sweating. It’s completely systemic. It goes through your whole body and it really does effect your nervous system. Your heart rate goes up. And if you have quite a few of them, you will be passing in and out of consciousness. There will be nothing in your world apart from pain for at least three or four hours.”
But afterwards he said, “You have such a massive overdose of adrenaline that you feel like a god. For a week afterwards I felt like if I leapt off a cliff I could have flown.”
They’re actually looking at using the venom as an insecticide, and paradoxically enough, in tiny enough doses it could act as a pain killer.
At least for the time being, I’ll stick to eating the Polyrhachis black ant, getting energy that way.
Though I have to say, I am a bit curious…