Watch a bullet ant sting a wildlife show host

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by Bonnie Burton December 23, 2016 6:22 AM PST @bonniegrrl

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If you've ever been stung by a wasp or a bee, you know how much it hurts. Now imagine that pain elevated to the searing of a gunshot wound, and you get the bullet ant.

In this video, posted Tuesday, "Brave Wilderness" host Coyote Peterson finds out first-hand what happens when a bullet ant fires away.

The bullet ant -- Paraponera clavata -- is a species of ant, measuring about 0.7-1.2 inches (8-30 mm) and looking a little like wingless wasps. Colonies of these reddish-black ants, which live at the base of trees, can get up into the hundreds.

Luckily, most of you won't be crossing paths with a bullet ant unless a trip to the rain forests of Costa Rica, Honduras, Brazil or Nicaragua is in your future.

The nearly 20-minute-long video -- which has gone viral with over 11 million views and counting -- shows Peterson fearlessly agitating the bullet ant into stinging him so he can explain the sensation to his viewers.

In between his screams, Peterson says the sting feels like it's burning and his forearm muscles begin to tighten -- mostly due to Poneratoxin, a paralyzing neurotoxic peptide in the bullet ant's venom.

Keep in mind that Peterson, who also hosts "Breaking Trail," and his crew are professionally trained and receive assistance from animal experts when in potentially life-threatening situations, so don't try to handle wildlife like bullet ants on your own.

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