“Entomologists are special, special people,” Matt Camper tells us as he holds a mason jar up to his arm loaded with 1,000 hungry bedbugs, the sealed end cut into the shape of a bunny.
Camper melted the internet’s brain this week and elicited cries of “Why?!” with a video of him “tattooing” himself by purposely letting a thousand bedbugs feed on his forearm in a stencil pattern. The “why” turns out to be science: Camper is an entomologist at the University of Colorado, where his program is training dogs as bedbug sniffers, similar to the drug sniffing dogs used in airports. I guess the idea is is that by taking dogs into hotels they’ll be able to tell if there are bedbugs present, and therefore can just use insecticide where it’s needed instead of spraying everywhere, which is better for the environment.
Still, this sounds like kind of a flimsy justification for volunteering your arm to a thousand hungry insects, but Camper seems genuinely jazzed by the whole episode.
“It doesn’t hurt,” he assures us as the bugs chomp away. Also in a somewhat less than reassuring tone, he says, “Bedbugs are not know to transmit any human pathogens—so AIDS, hepatitis…they’re not known to transmit that.” He adds, “my wife is super excited.”
24 hours later he shows off how the pink bunny tattoo initially left on his arm by all the bites has swollen over into a giant red lump. 48 hours after the feeding and the bunny pattern is back as a “nice blistered appearance” filled with pus.
Matt Camper has clearly found his calling. We should all be so lucky. Watch a guy below who genuinely loves what he does, even when that thing is getting eaten alive by bedbugs.