When it comes to fiction, poison is often used as a weapon. The most famous detectives in literature, Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot, have stumbled over their fair share of poisoning cases. Moreover, history has seen many deaths by poisoning. The Houses Borgia and De Medici were infamous for their use of arsenic and other toxins. Discover below several of the deadliest poisons in the world.
Cyanide is the fastest lethal poison known to mankind. Cyanide kills by preventing blood cells from absorbing oxygen. As a result, an ‘internal asphyxia’ takes place. This is one of the most famous poisons used throughout history. It is said Rasputin ingested enough cyanide to kill him, but he did not die. Moreover, spies in WWII had capsules with cyanide on them in order to choose a quick and painless death if they were found out.
Historically speaking, arsenic was a popular choice among poisons when someone wanted to commit murder. This is also the poison that features in most detective stories. Moreover, arsenic was also used in medicine in the past centuries which has led to even more deaths due to arsenic poisoning. It is said that Jane Austen’s death was caused by such medicine. The signs of arsenic poisoning include severe gastric discomfort, vomiting and diarrhea with blood.
3. Botulinum Toxin
Fans of BBC’s Sherlock will definitely remember this poison. This toxin causes muscle paralysis, eventually leading to the paralysis of the respiratory system. If left untreated, the Botulinum toxin leads to death.
Strychnine is a white, odorless, but bitter crystalline powder. It is a particularly strong poison that even in small doses can lead to death. This was the murder weapon in Agatha Christie’s first murder-mystery The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Luckily, nowadays there are antidotes for this poison.
Do you know other deadly poisons?
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