Top 10 MOST DANGEROUS Substances Known To Man
A toxic substance is anything that may physically harm you after it's been inhaled, swallowed or touched. From a frog's deadly defensive secretion to chemicals created by man, we're counting down the 10 of the deadliest substances known to man.
According to a report from newscientist.com, scientists have discovered what is considered to be the deadliest substance known - a strain of botulinum toxin, or Botox. What makes it so deadly is that there isn't a known antidote and the genetic makeup of the strain is withheld from public data. Ingesting as little as 2 billionths of a gram, or the inhalation of 13 billionths of a gram is enough to kill a human, while just one gram is enough to kill 14,000 people if ingested, or roughly 8.3 million people if injected!
The deadly poison Walter White uses to off one of his rival's in AMC's Breaking Bad and one that is known to be one of the most poisonous natural substances that we know, is Ricin. Ricin comes from the castor bean plant's seed which is native to and mainly found in Africa. As little as one seed is all it takes to kill a child, and a mere one milligram of Ricin is enough to kill an adult. Symptoms of Rican poisoning begin within hours of ingestion and include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and often times death.
An incredibly toxic chemical with a slightly sweet smell, Tabun is classified as a nerve agent due to the way in which it fatally interferes with the proper functioning of the mammalian nervous system. This man-made chemical was originally manufactured as a pesticide from Germany, and has since been used as a chemical weapon in warfare. Tabun can be absorbed into your body via ingestion, contact with your eyes, skin or inhalation. Luckily, this chemical is not very commonplace, as it is illegal just about everywhere to manufacture and stockpile Tabun in any manner.
Known to be one of the quickest-acting poisons known to man, able to kill within minutes, Cyanide is almost synonymous with poison to today's culture. Considered to be a rare form of poisoning, however, many become exposed to it due to residential and industrial fires. HCN, otherwise known as hydrogen cyanide gas, is so deadly it has been used as chemical weaponry, used particularly in enclosed areas where high concentration levels can be easily achieved. The gas, in short, prevents your body's cells from using oxygen, essentially suffocating your heart and brain.
Ever want to just set fire to… everything? Glass, brick, asbestos, sand – it’s all a possibility with the interhalogen compound chlorine trifluoride. During World War II, the chemical, under the name Substance-N, was meant to be a major component of the German offensive, but production of the volatile chemical was halted by the Soviets before it could be implemented. The secret to trifluoride's destructive success is in its oxidizing properties, which far exceed even oxygen. Beyond setting the world on fire, the chemical is impressively corrosive, affecting otherwise unreactive elements like osmium, iridium, and titanium.
Commonly called quicksilver, the chemical element known as mercury is considered to be toxic and deadly, as we all learned from Terminator 2. Really though, it's commonly used and can be found in thermometers, fluorescent lamps and many other things that end in "ometer." Mercury is easily absorbed through the skin as well as inhaled in vapor form with the most toxic forms being organic compounds. Mercury is capable of causing both acute and chronic poisoning. Every type of Mercury except elemental liquid mercury produce toxicity or death with less than a gram.
Obtained from the seeds of a Nux vomica tree and other related plants, strychnine is a relatively common poison and an easily identifiable one as well - as it kills by means of asphyxiation. This is done by paralyzing the muscles that control the airway, though that comes after the severe muscle pains around the neck, abdomen and jaw with severe convulsions afterward. Symptoms usually manifest fifteen to twenty minutes after exposure and poisoning can occur through inhalation or absorption through any orifice.
Many animals utilize toxins as defensive measures, and frogs are by no means a stranger to that. There is one frog in particular, though, the golden poison frog, or Phyllobates terribilis, that you should especially take caution with. Native to western Colombia, this frog secretes a neurotoxin called batrachotoxin and just one hundred-millionths of a gram is the lethal dosage for an average human male. Just for an idea as to how little that is, it'd be roughly the size of two grains of sugar.
A commonly used industrial reactant, widely used for mining gold, sodium cyanide can kill within seconds - obviously depending on the dosage. With just 1/20th of a teaspoon being enough to hit LD50 levels, it's safe to say that if you smell almonds while working with hydrogen cyanide and/or sodium hydroxide... get yourself away from the area as soon as possible. This chemical is extremely toxic to humans, and runs risk through both skin absorption and ingestion.
Scentless and without color, carbon monoxide gas often times goes unnoticed with deadly consequences. Since it's so hard to detect, it's best to know the symptoms: headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and shortness of breath. This poisonous gas is the product of burning different fuels, such as wood, charcoals, oils and natural gas. Lethal poisoning is so common from carbon monoxide, that over 170 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning from non-automotive means in the United States alone.