Inevitably, poison was also added to a new weapon invented in China in the 9th century: gunpowder. But the rise of industry made it possible for nations to produce and stockpile chemical weapons on an unprecedented scale. The danger in deadly gases was so innately understood that these weapons were banned before they were ever used.
At sunset on April 22, , the German army opened tons of chlorine gas over the bomb-pocked battlefield in Ypres, Belgium. Instead, they felt a hot burning sensation in the eyes and throat. The poison gas caused intense pain, blindness, and the feeling of being strangled. Over 5, troops were killed by asphyxiation. The gas was developed by the German-Jewish chemist Fritz Haber, a brilliant scientist with a tortured legacy.
Haber won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in for discovering a way to synthesize ammonia from nitrogen in the air, enabling the mass production of a nitrogen fertilizer that revolutionized agriculture and helped feed billions of people around the globe. Haber personally oversaw the deployment of chlorine gas at Ypres, and in the chemical weapons arms race that followed, he led the development of even more deadly chemicals : mustard gas, a painful blistering agent, and phosgene, a choking agent that not only burns the body but can also induce psychological terror.
By the end of World War I, there were an estimated 1. After the gas attack at Ypres, Haber was hailed as a hero in Berlin, and a party was thrown in his honor a month after the battle. He fled Germany in and died of a heart attack while in exile. Not long after, his lab and research were used by the Nazis to develop Zyklon B, the poison gas used to murder millions of Jews and other innocent civilians in gas chambers at concentration camps—including members of Haber's extended family.
Poison played another, altogether different role in the wars of the 20th century: as a suicide pill. A chemical compound that can take the form of gas or crystalline powder, cyanide is one of the most potent and fast-acting poisons in existence. While cyanide has been known since antiquity, a compound of hydrogen cyanide distilled in the 18th century quickly gained attention for its ability to kill with efficiency. Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva Braun poisoned themselves with cyanide in a bunker in Berlin.
Cyanide also became almost synonymous with the suicide pills made famous by spy movies. The drug was hidden in secret compartments in the stem of eyeglasses or fountain pens, and chewing on these objects would release the poison. Cyanide was the poison fed to Rasputin that famously failed to kill him a gunshot finished the job.
In the late s, a spray gun that fired a cloud of poison cyanide gas was used by a former KGB agent to assassinate two Ukrainian nationalist leaders. And in , potassium cyanide was mixed into fruit punch in the Jonestown mass murder-suicide in Guyana. In recent years, nerve agents, highly toxic "organophosphates" like Sarin gas, have become poisons of choice. Originally developed during World War II, these deadly concoctions have been used by terrorists , dictators , and authoritarians around the world, leading to sinister political plots that would've made for sleepless nights for Mithridates some 2, years ago.
Type keyword s to search. By Meg Neal. The Athenians sentenced the famous philosopher to death by drinking a cup of poison hemlock. UniversalImagesGroup Getty Images. Hemlock A favorite of the ancient Greeks, poison hemlock comes from a large fern-like plant that bears a dangerous resemblance to the carrot plant. Mandrake This storied plant gets its name from the long, vaguely human-shaped root.
Aconite This toxic plant, also called Monkshood or Wolfsbane, was used by indigenous tribes around the world as arrow poison, and was so deadly that growing it was forbidden in ancient Rome. Strychnine Derived from a bitter-tasting tree native to India, this toxin was known since antiquity in Asia and was used in many traditional medicines. Sepia Times Getty Images. Unicorn in Captivity tapestry, late s. Francis G. Mayer Getty Images.
A physician uses a Bezoar stone on a victim of poisoning. Bezoar is related to the Persian word meaning counter-poison, A Glass of Wine with Caesar Borgia, Print Collector Getty Images. The Honeymoon by Thomas Rowlandson, Historical Picture Archive Getty Images. An apparatus set up to use the Marsh test for examining stomach contents for traces of arsenic.
Photo 12 Getty Images. French troops wearing a gas masks at the Second Battle of Ypres, April Hulton Archive. Read the Story. Strange perhaps to say, the suggestion of the old dowager, like instilled poison , was making its way into her very veins. In addition to the idiom beginning with poison. Save This Word! See synonyms for poison on Thesaurus. Poison, toxin, venom are terms for any substance that injures the health or destroys life when absorbed into the system, especially of a higher animal.
Poison is the general word: a poison for insects. A toxin is a poison produced by an organism; it is especially used in medicine in reference to disease-causing bacterial secretions: A toxin produces diphtheria. Venom is especially used of the poisons secreted by certain animals, usually injected by bite or sting: the venom of a snake. Words nearby poison poised , poiser , Poiseuille's law , Poiseuille's space , poisha , poison , poison-arrow frog , poison bean , poison dogwood , poison gas , poison haw.
Words related to poison venom , germ , virus , toxin , contamination , bacteria , harm , debase , injure , subvert , infect , taint , kill , corrupt , destroy , stain , undermine , adulteration , cancer , contagion.
Share this Rating Title: Poison 6. Use the HTML below. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Photos Add Image. Edit Cast Cast overview, first billed only: Edith Meeks Felicia Beacon Millie White Millie Sklar Buck Smith Gregory Lazar Anne Giotta Evelyn McAlpert Lydia Lafleur Sylvia Manning Ian Nemser Sean White Rob LaBelle Jay Wete Evan Dunsky MacArthur Marina Lutz Hazel Lamprecht Barry Cassidy Officer Rilt Richard Anthony Edward Comacho Angela M.
Florence Giddens Justin Silverstein Jake Chris Singh Chris Edward Allen Edit Storyline Three intercut stories about outsiders, sex and violence. Edit Did You Know? Trivia Film debut of James Lyons. This also marked his first film as a film editor. Quotes John Broom : Something about my memory of Bolton disturbed me but I could not put my finger on just what it was.
All night long I built an imaginary life of which he was the center, and I always gave that life, which was begun over and over and transformed a dozen times, a violent end. The director's cut was released as the NC version; an "unrated" version was released which was essentially the same, minus a brief shot of an erect penis sticking out of a man's shorts; and finally an R rated version was sold, one which was cut in several places to placate the MPAA.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Report this. Add the first question. Language: English. Runtime: 85 min. Sound Mix: Mono. Color: Black and White Color. Edit page. Clear your history. Felicia Beacon.
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