OCT 17, 2016 2:58 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
OCT 24, 2020
Space & Astronomy
The Closest Black Hole to Earth Isn't a Black Hole After All
OCT 24, 2020
The Closest Black Hole to Earth Isn't a Black Hole After All
Earlier this year, astronomers reportedly identified the 'closest black hole to Earth every discovered'. However ...
NOV 06, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
The Most Powerful X-ray Source On Earth
NOV 06, 2020
The Most Powerful X-ray Source On Earth
Located inside the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Z Pulsed Power Facility (or Z Machine) i ...
MAR 26, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Iconic Bald Eagles are Thriving
MAR 26, 2021
Iconic Bald Eagles are Thriving
Once dangerously on the brink of extinction, bald eagle populations are thriving throughout the lower 48 states of the U ...
MAR 31, 2021
Plants & Animals
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
MAR 31, 2021
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
Beachgoers are certainly not fond of jellyfish in the water, but seeing hundreds of them wash ashore is an interesting a ...
JUN 05, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Washington State University Opens Cannabis Research Center
JUN 05, 2021
Washington State University Opens Cannabis Research Center
Washington State University (WSU) has announced the opening of a multi-disciplinary research center with nearly 100 scie ...
JUN 21, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Detect Signatures of Life on Earth Remotely
JUN 21, 2021
Scientists Detect Signatures of Life on Earth Remotely
An international team led by researchers from the University of Bern in Switzerland and the National Centre of Competenc ...
Loading Comments...