What is a poison?

Poison signA poison is defined as a substance that can cause injury or death even in small doses in an biochemical way.

Fatal doses are measured in milligrams per kilogram or how much milligram poison is needed per kilogram victim to be deathly in 50% of the cases.

In the United States substances that are lethal at a dose of 50 milligrams or less per kilogram bodyweight are considered a poison. This means that for the average man – who weighs 70 kilogram – something is called a lethal poison if it can kill a man with less than 3,5 grams. This is three-fourths of a teaspoon.

A lot of animals have developed venomglands. Often this is their way of defending themselves against predators. But sometimes animals use it to attack their prey and paralyze or kill it.

Sometimes organisms become poisonous by accident. For example by consuming large quantities of poisonous micro-organisms such as bacteria. This way the amount of poison can attain dangerous levels.

Only 1 Can Is Enough To Kill Mankind

aluminum-canEver heard of botulinum toxin? This substance is extremely poisonous!

It is being produced by the bacteria Clostridium Botilinium and this bacteria is EVERYWHERE. It can cause botulism. This word comes from the Latin word Botulus which means sausage. The reason for this is that it is mostly found in meat. Meat that is bad will give you food poisoning and that is this bacteria and its toxines.

This bacteria produces seven different kinds of toxines. The most poisonous toxin stops the nerve cells en shuts down our nervous system completely. However some forms of botulinum toxin type A are used for cosmetic purposes. We all know botox right? Yeah, go put some poison on your face. It’s simple: botox paralyzes and thus the wrinkle dissapears.

According to certain resources botulinum toxin can be lethal at a dose of not even 0,1 nanograms per kilogram. This means that 470 grams would be enough to kill all 6 billion people that currently live on planet earth.

The 3 Most Poisonous Animals Alive

In nature we have to make a difference between how lethal the poison is and how much poison the animal has.

Taipan Snake

Taipan Snake

The snake with the deadliest venom is the Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus). One bite of this snake contains enough poison to kill 100 adult humans or 250,000 mice. Luckily for us and other animals the snake is shy and meek. So unless you challenge it you shouldn’t encounter any problems.

This snake is nearly 50 times more poisonous than a king’s cobra.

Poison Dart Frog

Poison dart frogKnown by a lot of people under this name. They are mostly found in Central-America and South-America. They received their name because the local Indians used their venom on their arrows to make sure that the target would die if wounded.

The frogs give of toxins such as batrachtoxin which is one of the most poisonous toxins in nature with a lethal dose of less than 200 micrograms.

Sea Wasp

sea waspThis animal -also called Chironex Fleckeri – is probably the most poisonous on earth. It’s a species of the box jellyfish and it can be found in coastal waters from Northern Australia to the Phillipines.

One sea wasp has enough poison to kill 60 humans in as little as 4 minutes. It’s tentacles can be 3 meters long. This animal has already caused over 60 fatalities on Australian beaches. However the Australians have made a good warning system for them.

Author

Nabeel Ahmad is the founder and editor-in-chief of Lone Mind. Apart from Lone Mind, he is a serial entrepreneur, and has founded multiple successful companies in different industries.

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