OCT 17, 2016 02:58 PM PDT

5 Deadliest Poisons that Kill within Hours

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

For as long as humankind have sought for cures, we were bound to stumble upon some poisons along the way, accidentally and on purpose. Some poisons, as we discovered, are so deadly they can kill an adult human within hours. For example, tetrodoxin, the famed pufferfish toxin, can elicit mouth and speech paralysis in mere minutes. Seizures, convulsions, coma, and death follow in as little as 17 minutes or within 6 hours. Given this death risk, it's a wonder that pufferfish is a popular offering on many Japanese menus.

Other poisons are so potent they can kill with just the tiniest dose. It's estimated that a teaspoon of toxin from the bacteria Clostridium botulinum can kill more than 1 billion people. This earns the botulinum toxin as the most lethal poison known to mankind.

Watch the video to learn 3 more of the deadliest poisons, some of which may be growing in your own backyard!
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
SEP 07, 2018
Videos
SEP 07, 2018
The Therapeutic Potential of Venoms
Over 220,000 species, around 15 percent of the world's described animals, are known to be venomous....
SEP 11, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
SEP 11, 2018
Chemistry in Your Cookies: Double Acting Baking Powders
If you are not an avid baker, you can easily mistake baking soda for baking powder.  Although both look white and powder-like, capable of releasing ca...
SEP 20, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
SEP 20, 2018
"Silver Bullet" for Stinky Socks
Silver is known for its anti-microbial property for ages. As early as fourth century BC, the great Greek physician Hippocrates described the use of silver...
OCT 03, 2018
Videos
OCT 03, 2018
Understanding Brain Aneurysms
A brain aneurysm is a medical emergency, but many patients don’t understand much about them. First, it’s not the same a clot. An aneurysm is wh...
OCT 06, 2018
Videos
OCT 06, 2018
Explore a Human Cell with an Interactive Website
The Allen Institute is aiming to enhance our understanding of how human cells function....
OCT 14, 2018
Videos
OCT 14, 2018
Globally, Many Students Are Over-Diagnosed With ADHD
When teachers notice issues with a student, parents naturally respond and often can lead to a diagnosis of ADHD. Now, a global study published in the Journ...
Loading Comments...