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What Is The Deadliest Substance On Earth? Toxicity Comparison

What Is The Deadliest Substance On Earth? Toxicity Comparison

Can you imagine settling down to watch a movie
with a bag of nachos and some cheese sauce, only for that particular snack decision to
prove to be the worst choice you ever made of your soon-to-be-over life? That happened in May this year when a Californian
man ate some cheese sauce that was infected with the (botch-i-linum) botulinum toxin. He later died, but not before suffering a
few weeks of pain and confusion. The toxin, which is secreted by the bacterium
Clostridium botulinum, can appear in canned foods, and once you are struck by botulism
the outlook isn’t good. This is just one of the deadly toxins that
can strike us down in the prime of our lives. Today we are going to focus on the deadly
toxins that inhabit the Earth, in this episode of the Infographics show, Top 10 Deadliest
Substances. Don’t forget to subscribe and click the
bell button so that you can be part of our Notification Squad. Number 10. Lead
Lead is certainly not the worst thing out there, but lead poisoning is quite common. Researchers believe it’s how Beethoven died,
and the World health Organization said in 2015 that lead paint alone causes almost 500,000
deaths a year. If exposed to lead paint, say on a toy, at
low levels children can suffer permanent brain damage. At high levels the lead can attack the central
nervous system leading to coma and death. This year an infant died in Connecticut after
wearing, and reportedly chewing on, a handmade bracelet bought at an artisan fair. The beads on the bracelet contained high levels
of lead. Number 9. Tetrodotoxin
Death by dangerous dinner is a fact in Japan, and people sometimes die after eating a pufferfish
known as the fugu. The fish, which is only prepared by licensed
chefs, contains the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin. If ingested by humans it can cause respiratory
failure, paralysis, and death. While the toxic parts of the fish should be
removed, mishaps do happen. The Tokyo Bureau of Social Welfare and Public
Health has stated that over a period of time, it had a 6.8 percent fatality rate of those
that ingested it. There is no known antidote, so you either
wait until the toxins leave the body, or wait for death. The Guardian reports that “between 2006
and 2015, ten people died after eating the fish”, but most of those folks tried to
prepare the meals themselves. In other Asian countries, people have died
when the fish was passed off as something else. 15 people died in Thailand and scores more
were hospitalized when vendors were selling the fish disguised as salmon around 2007. Number 8. Arsenic
This popular poison won’t kill you in small amounts. Indeed, it was reported in 2017 that 2 million
people in the USA were exposed to high levels of arsenic from drawing water from wells. Back in the Victorian era, women poisoned
themselves by rubbing a mixture on their faces that contained arsenic, all in the name of
beauty and the desire to have a pale complexion. Arsenic poisoning leads to cancer in developing
countries as we speak, but a small dose of this harmless looking powder in your drink
will kill you. That’s why it was a favorite with murderers
in 19th century England. Vomiting and diarrhea will occur, and if you’ve
consumed enough of it, you’ve usually got between two hours and two days before it’s
game over. Number 7. Strychnine
Strychnine is another substance found in many things we might consume. It’s mainly found in the strychnos nux-vomica
tree, and from there it might make its way into a one gram bag of cocaine, pesticides,
or even contaminated food and water. If you’ve been poisoned, you’ll know within
15 to 60 minutes. According to the CDC, you’ll become anxious,
feel muscle pain, have spasms, and at high doses, suffer respiratory failure and brain
death. If you can get past 12 hours, you should survive. The BBC reported in 2016, a man was found
dead in the middle of the English Moors after ingesting it. Number 6. Cyanide
Scientists say that cyanide and strychnine are fairly similar in terms of toxicity, but
cyanide certainly has the worse reputation. This chemical compound can be found in plants,
bacteria, fungi as well as the seeds of some fruits. Death-by-apple-seed, however, would only occur
if you ate at least 150 crushed apple seeds and chewed them all well. If you did manage to do that, you could suffer
seizures, apnea, cardiac arrest, and death within seconds. In 2012, a U.S. man, a former millionaire
Wall Street banker, died in about 37 seconds after swallowing a cyanide pill in court. It was short, but looked rather unpleasant. Number 5. Sarin
Sarin is a nerve gas that was developed in Germany as a pesticide. It later became a chemical weapon and was
developed by the Soviet Union and the U.S. military. It has killed thousands of people as a military
weapon and was the cause of 12 deaths in the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack. 26 times more deadly than cyanide, if ingested,
your eyes will first water, you’ll throw up, pee, poop, and then have seizures. Within ten minutes, you will be dead. Number 4. Ricin
This deadly protein, extracted from the innocent sounding castor bean, once found its way to
President Barack Obama’s mail. One of the problems, for most of us at least,
is that the toxin can be extracted from the pulp without much difficulty. You just need to follow some fairly simple
instructions thanks to our modern Oracle, Google. If inhaled or ingested at an amount half the
size of a grain of sand, it is goodnight Vienna. The good news is, it’s unlikely you’ll
be poisoned if someone isn’t planning to kill you as it’s not something you just
come across – unless you worked in the U.S. military in the 1940s. If ingested, the effects will appear after
about 10 hours. You’ll experience vomiting and diarrhea,
seizures, and death will likely happen when your liver, spleen and kidneys stop working. Number 3. Mercury
Mercury occurs naturally in air, water and soil, but it gets very dangerous when it builds
up in fish and becomes methylmercury. That’s how humans are usually affected. It’s also found in metals and so it can
get into us that way. It’s high on the list, because a very small
amount of mercury can be deadly. If it isn’t, it’s been known to lead to
children’s hair and teeth just falling out like in a bad dream. It kills, too, as a British scientist’s
family discovered in 1996. She had taken all the correct safety precautions
when working with the substance, but after spilling two small drops on her gloves she
was doomed. She didn’t think much of it, having worn
the protective gloves, but within weeks she suffered neurological impairment. She then went into a coma and died. While the woman was thrashing about prior
to her coma, her friend asked a doctor if she was in pain. The doctor told her that her brain wouldn’t
even register pain. Number 2. Batrachotoxin
The strongest form of this toxin is carried by the golden poison frog, known as the most
poisonous animal on the planet. Also known as the golden dart frog, it carries
about one milligram of poison, enough to kill ten to twenty humans. This would mean the tiny, friendly looking
frog could take out an elephant. It’s called the dart frog because residents
of Colombia’s rainforests would soak the end of their darts in its poison for hunting,
or protecting themselves. Like in the movies, a human, if hit, would
likely drop like a knocked out boxer. A lethal dose is 0.00012 grams. There isn’t much evidence as to the effect
on humans, but when natives were asked about the killer darts, they told western scientists
that paralysis is so immediate, birds would just fall from the sky when hit. Number 1. Botulinum toxin
This nasty toxin’s claim to fame is that it is used to make older looking people look
younger when used in what we know as Botox. The toxin, 40 million times stronger than
cyanide, can kill a human at only 80 nanograms – 2-billionths of a gram. Your face will first paralyze, then your limbs,
and then your breathing organs. Unfortunately, as we heard at the beginning
of this show, it can appear in cans of food. Although botulism outbreaks are very rare,
the cheese sauce fan from California was joined by another northern Californian a few months
later. This time the cheese sauce killed a woman,
who had initially been released from the hospital after recovering. It’s odorless and colorless, so you’ll
only know you are a victim when strange things start to happen to you. When your face starts paralyzing and you can’t
speak, drive as fast as you can to a hospital. That brings us to the end of today’s show. Which of these substances seems like the worst
to you? Let us know in the comments! Also, be sure to check out our other video
called Most Painful Things a Human Can Experience?! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

Reader Comments

  1. Note:
    Botulism is not directly found in canned or processed foods, if not preserved correctly the food becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, including Clostridium Botulinum. This bacteria produces the toxin associated with botulism when it enters you body.

  2. Are you sure mecury kills when I was in school I broke one of my father's old mecury filled thermometers his a doctor I touched it even played with it for some months as I'm commenting I'm 23 years old now well and healthy.

  3. Re: botox treatments, I first heard about botox from a Law & Order CI episode. When they were talking about what botox is, I thought they were joking. I mean, surely nobody would deliberately have the deadliest toxin to Humans injected into them, would they? I was horrified when I found out they were serious. Then you have to trust that the hopefully well-trained medical professional doing it, knows what he or she is doing.

  4. That's very false only the gaz that comes from mercury will be able to affect a human if you spill liquid mercury on your hand and clean them with water you are sure that your ok

  5. You should be more specific on the botulinum toxin as botulinum toxin A can be dangerous it is nowhere near as dangerous as botulinum toxin H. Toxin A is the one used in botox.

  6. I used ricin in one of my stories (I'm a writer). A man snuck into a palace and disguised himself as a server. All he had to do was sprinkle a little on top of the hamburgers he served and the entire guard would be dead the next day without any trace to him

  7. Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and related species. It prevents the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from axon endings at the neuromuscular junction and thus causes flaccid paralysis. Infection with the bacterium causes the disease botulism. Wikipedia

    Formula: C6760H10447N1743O2010S32

    ATC code: M03AX01 (WHO)

    Molar mass: 149 kg/mol (149,321g/mol) g·mol−1

  8. Once when i was a little kid i ate a tiny bit of one of those toxins and i didn't knew i ate one of it so i had to go to a hospital

  9. My mother used to have a castor bean plant growing in her backyard. It was destroyed by a hurricane years ago, but I used to collect the beans in a plastic tube because I thought they looked cool.

  10. I have a question, how do natives of Columbia hunt with a deadly toxin on their arrows? I mean, the toxin will stil remain in the dead carcass of the animal…

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