On Sunday’s Naked and Afraid, the 13th season kicked off with a couple of the show’s past all-stars, 40-year-old firefighter Fernando Calderon and 31-year-old EMT Dani Beau, trying to survive in an Ecuador rainforest with one of the most concentrated collections of predators in the world, both big and small. And that includes a little something known as fire ants.
Named for its extremely painful sting that has been compared to being shot with a firearm, bullet ants can get up to over an inch long and have the appearance of wingless wasps. The sting’s pain can last for up to 24 hours, and is currently the highest rated on the insect pain scale known as Schmidt's Sting Pain Index.
Unfortunately, both experienced first hand how bullet ants got their name as they were both bitten throughout the course of the episode. Beau was the first one to get bitten, which happened on the bottom of her foot.
“It feels like someone took a hammer and smashed my left foot into a thousand pieces, and then I stepped on charcoal,” Beau said.
She was able to battle through the pain, and decided she would avoid any future ant stings on her feet by cleverly making some shoes. In hindsight she probably should have made some gloves for her partner as well, because Calderon was bitten in his hand by a bullet ant shortly after Beau’s bit.