10 Deadliest Poisons In The World


Science is a fascinating thing, but we should always be careful when using the deadliest poisons which are scientific discoveries. By deadliest, it means just a small amount of them can kill a person easily and quickly. There are many different types of deadliest poisons out there known to mankind, and we bring 10 of them today. Some of these deadliest poisons are very well-known to people while the others are not so famous. So let’s find out with us today and see how many deadliest poisons that you know.


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This is a naturally occurring crystalline metalloid substance that is also one of the deadliest poisons common as a murder weapon. This type of poison was well-known back in the late 19th century and as far as the 1700s. The thing is that arsenic can kill in a few hours to a few days, and the symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea. Such symptoms make it difficult for people to distinguish from dysentery or cholera, and this poison is so strong.

Arsenic is present in food like grains, fruits, and vegetables due to absorption through soil and water. In the human body, it can develop diabetes, cancer, vascular disease, and lung disease. As for long-term exposure to high levels of arsenic, it can cause higher rates of skin cancer, bladder cancer, lung cancer, and heart disease. Long-term exposure includes drinking water with arsenic or inhaling an environment with this substance.

2Carbon Monoxide

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One of the deadliest poisons is Carbon Monoxide aka Silent Killer because it is odorless, tasteless, colorless, and slightly less dense than air. The part that makes it able to poison and kill humans is that this substance is very difficult to detect. This type of gas can make you feel unwell if you breathe it in, and exposure to high levels of it also kills.

When you breathe Carbon Monoxide in, it enters your bloodstream and mixes with hemoglobin to form carboxyhemoglobin. That is when blood is no longer able to carry oxygen, and it causes the body’s cells and tissue to fail and die. The symptoms of mild carbon monoxide poisoning are dizziness, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, confusion, stomach pain, and difficulty in breathing. When things get serious, you will experience personality changes, impaired mental state, vertigo, ataxia, chest pain, seizures, unconsciousness, and death.

The main sources of this deadliest gas in the house are gas, oil, coal, and wood. That mostly comes from boilers, gas fires, central heating systems, water heaters, cookers, and open fires. Apart from that, burning charcoal, running cars, and smoke from cigarettes also produce this deadly gas.


Cyanide can be in the form of a colorless gas or a crystal, and it smells like bitter almonds. This deadly poison prevents cells from using oxygen to make energy molecules when consumed in both large and small doses. Exposure to cyanide can cause symptoms like headache, nausea, rapid breathing and heart rate, and weakness. It is true that you can find cyanide in apple seeds, and poisoning occurs when you eat about ten apple cores.

In manufacturing, people use cyanide to make paper, textiles, and plastics, and it is also present in the chemicals that develop photographs. Apart from apples, other foods that contain cyanide are almonds, tapioca, millet sprouts, lima beans, soy, spinach, bamboo shoots, and cassava roots. Cyanide can kill very fast if not treated on time, and make sure you don’t consume the food above too much.


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The most terrifying thing about Dimethylmercury is that it can penetrate most standard protection equipment even thick latex gloves. It is a highly reactive, flammable, and colorless liquid which makes it one of the deadliest poisons in the world. That is because it is easily absorbed through the skin, and it can permeate many materials like plastic and rubber compounds.

An unfortunate example of its effect was the death of heavy metal chemist Karen Wetterhahn in 1996. She got just a single drop of this colorless liquid on her gloved hand, and that was all it needed. Symptoms started to show up after four months, and she died 6 months after the symptoms had appeared. In that case, the symptoms are redness and pain in the area which develops to damage of the nerve systems and results in death.


image: Solvay

This chemical element is a pale yellow gas that is highly poisonous, and corrosive, and will react with nearly anything except helium, argon, and neon. Its reactions are often very violent, and it explodes when mixed with water which is why it must be handled with extreme care. If you inhale it in small amounts, it causes severe irritation to the respiratory system including your nose, throat, and lungs. As for large amounts, it can cause death.

In serious cases, this gas can blind and suffocate people and kills very very fast. It is also lethal at very low levels, and you will cough very hard when inhaling a large amount of it. Without supportive treatment like oxygen and steroids, the victim will get very sick and die of chemical pneumonia.

6Hydrofluoric Acid

It is a strong acid with a pungent odor which is extremely corrosive that it can etch glass. When in liquid form, it can easily seep through the skin and into the bloodstream which causes a reaction with calcium in the body. This acid can also destroy the underlying bone while causing burns and hurts really really bad.

The scary part is that it is completely painless at first, and things get worse as it does the damage. Also, if this hazardous liquid or mist comes into contact with skin, eyes, or internal organs, the damage is very severe. Hydrofluoric Acid is mainly used for industrial purposes, and it may also be found in home rust removers.

7Purple Possum

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This is the most potent nerve gas on earth, and it is actually manmade with its origin in the UK. The purpose of Purple Possum aka Nerve Agents is for military use in chemical warfare. If you expose to the environment where this gas is dispersed, there are many consequences you will face. It will attack your central nervous system by stopping your muscles from relaxing, that includes arms, legs, shoulders, fingers, eyelids; everything.

Then your body will clench harder and harder until you are curled so tight you look like a shrimp. That is when you cannot breathe because your respiratory system collapses, then your heart stops, and you die. Actually, one single drop of it can do all of that. Chemical Weapons Convention banned it in 1993 since it is categorized as a weapon of mass destruction. Whether it is still produced or not, we don’t know.


If you want to talk about the toxic level, this element is 250,000 more toxic than hydrogen cyanide. It is a rare radioactive metal discovered by Marie Curie in the late 19th century. It enters our body through inhalation, swallowing, and broken skin, and the result is very fatal. There are 25 known isotopes of polonium with atomic masses ranging from 194 to 218, and Polonium-210 is the easiest to obtain.

Po-210 was the poison that kill Alexander Litvinenko who was a Russian spy back in London in 2006. He is alleged to have consumed a fatal dose by drinking tea at a business meeting with two other Russians. Alexander died of radiation sickness, and the two men were charged with his murder. Not to mention Polonium is also linked to the deaths of Yasser Arafat and other Russian dissidents. So be careful when eating and drinking if you’re a spy.


Not different from some deadliest poisons on the list, this one is also a colorless and tasteless liquid. Sarin can give you the worst nightmare because it is 500 times more deadly than cyanide, and it is often used as a chemical weapon. Exposure to it is lethal even at very low doses since it can cause death in less than minutes after direct inhalation. As for initial symptoms, they include a runny nose, tightness in the chest, and constriction of pupils.

Then, the patient will have difficulty breathing and lose control of body functions which leads to vomit, defecating, and urinating. After that, twitching and jerking will occur followed by death as a result of the inability to control muscles and breathing.


As for this one, it is a white, odorless, and bitter crystalline powder that can be taken by mouth, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. It is a strong poison that people often use to kill birds, rats, and other small mammals. The thing is that it produces some of the most painful symptoms among toxic reactions which is common for assassinations and poison attacks.

After 10 to 20 minutes of exposure, our body’s muscles begin to spasm beginning with the head and neck. Then the spasms spread to every muscle in the body followed by depression and result in death due to paralysis of breathing. Usually, the victims die a couple of hours after the exposure. There is no specific antidote for such deadly poisons, so there have never been any survivors of Strychnine so far.

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