Naked and Afraid began its 13th season yesterday (August 1) with a wild episode that confirms the number 13 must be cursed. As a handful of the Discovery Channel reality show’s past all-stars trekked into an Ecuadorian rainforest, they faced a handful of threatening predators. Although the large beasts may have first appeared to be the most horrifying, it was a handful of tiny critters that took these contestants down.
After the competitors journeyed into the rainforest, their first major challenge was a hoard of fire ants. Firefighter Fernando Calderon and EMT Dani Beau both encountered the evil bugs, and both were bitten over the course of the first episode. Beau was the first to get bitten by the creepy crawlers, and in one of the worst places imaginable, at that: on the bottom of her foot.
“It seriously feels like someone took a wide gauge needle and just shoved through your bone,” Beau said on the episode, per Yahoo!. “How can something small hurt so bad?”
For reference, the sting of a fire ant is the highest rated on the insect pain scale, Schmidt’s Sting Pain Index. The pain from the fire ant’s (which is also referred to as the “bullet ant”) sting can linger for up to 24 hours. Clearly, Beau was in for a long night.
“I’m not gonna be able to sleep if this is what it’s gonna feel like the whole night,” Beau said, reiterating the pain. “It feels like someone took a hammer and smashed my left foot into a thousand pieces, and then I stepped on charcoal.”
Beau pressed on through the pain, making a pair of shoes to be sure she wouldn’t encounter the issue again. But Calderon, her partner, became embroiled in the same issue. His hand was bitten by a bullet ant just a few moments after Beau’s initial issue.
“Man, it’s like pulsating,” Calderon said. “It’s so swollen I can barely bend it. This hurts like hell.”
Calderon got over the pain as well, and the pair were able to make it the full 21 days. But that didn’t stop us from wincing through the whole dilemma, and wonder: what’s next for this evil Season 13?
Naked and Afraid airs Sunday nights on Discovery at 8/7c.