From poisonous plants to venomous vipers, the world is full of terrifying ways to die. In this video, All Time 10s takes a look at ten things that will kill you in under an hour. Poisonous plants, sleeping on the couch and lethal laughter are just a few of the things that will end your life in an instant.
1. Poisonous Plants
While most plants are lovely additions to gardens and yards, some can snuff out your life with just one bite. Whether it’s for aesthetic reasons or medicinal purposes, many plants are packed with chemicals that can cause a host of side effects, from rashes and blisters to convulsions and even death.
A popular flower used in gardens, the datura (also known as jimsonweed or devil’s trumpet) contains scopolamine and hyoscyamine, which can induce hallucinations, delirium, confusion, and even death. Its seeds and berries also contain deadly compounds that can wreak havoc on the heart with symptoms such as dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, and even cardiac arrest.
The manchineel tree, native to the Florida Everglades and Central America, is considered one of the deadliest plants in North America because it produces a toxic sap that can cause a range of painful side effects, from respiratory problems like coughing and laryngitis to chemical burns on the skin. Even just standing beneath the tree during a rainstorm can lead to itching and burning on the skin from contact with runoff.
The castor oil plant is a common household plant, but it’s actually very dangerous. The seeds, which are used for making castor oil, contain the deadly compound ricin. Just two of the seeds are enough to kill a child, and it only takes eight to poison an adult.
The human body works best at a narrow temperature range and cooling rapidly leads to the inability of organs to function and ultimately death. Hypothermia is the rapid lowering of the core body temperature below 95 degrees F and is a medical emergency.
It is a dangerous condition, but it can be prevented with proper gear and knowledge. The most important thing is to dress properly. Layers of warm clothing are essential and even more so for infants and young children, as they will lose heat faster than adults. It is also a good idea to carry a survival kit with water and food in cold weather, especially for hikers, hunters or people without permanent housing who might get stranded outside for long periods of time.
Every year there are stories of people surviving cold ordeals that would have killed them otherwise. The reason is that the first stage of hypothermia – cold shock – is survivable. This is when the muscles and nerves begin to fail, leading to clumsiness and incapacitation. The good news is that therapeutic hypothermia can help prevent further damage and it has been used successfully since the 1990s during open heart surgery and in newborn babies with congenital heart defects.
We hear laughter all the time, from a baby’s giggling to the raucous shrieks of a comedy audience. But if we took a closer look at the root of that strange behavior, we would realize that laughing is a lot more complicated than we think.
For one thing, laughing isn’t always good for you. For instance, in some cases of excessive and uncontrollable laughing, people can die from asphyxiation or suffocation. That’s because when you laugh so hard, your rib cage expands to force out air as you chuckle.
Also, if you’re ticklish like most babies, it can be difficult to control your laughter. In fact, tickling was used as a form of torture in centuries past and has been linked to heart attacks, brain hemorrhages, and even death.
That said, laughing is still a great way to relieve stress. A good chuckle stimulates your organs, increases the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your muscles and lungs, and releases feel-good endorphins. Plus, studies have shown that people with a good sense of humor tend to live longer than those who don’t.
5. Sleeping on the Couch
Everyone has fallen asleep on the couch from time to time, whether it’s after a late night movie or an argument with your partner. However, sleeping on the couch isn’t good for your sleep or health.
The sofa is used by many people and may contain bacteria, dust mites, or allergens. This can exacerbate allergies, asthma, and other health conditions. The couch can also cause neck pain and back problems. Sleeping on the couch can also affect your sleep hygiene, as it may be difficult to get a restful night’s sleep without distractions.
If you have trouble falling asleep in bed, sleeping on the couch may provide a change of scenery that can help your brain recalibrate. But, if you become too accustomed to sleeping on the couch, it can be hard to go back to your bed.
If you find yourself sleeping on the couch more often than you’d like, there are several ways to break the habit. You can try putting stopgaps in place that make it harder to fall asleep on the couch, such as keeping the lights up, using earplugs, or getting individual duvets instead of one big blanket. You can also use apps, like Oura, to track your sleep habits and see how sleeping on the couch impacts your quality of life.
7. Flesh Eating Viruses
Flesh eating bacteria, or necrotizing fasciitis, are becoming more common than you might think. It’s an extremely severe and deadly infection that releases toxins into the bloodstream that can kill tissue quickly and cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure. This can lead to septicemia and other complications, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and heart failure.
It’s caused by a strain of bacteria that is related to strep throat. It can enter the body through a break in skin, like a cut or insect bite. Once it gets in, it starts to spread very quickly, and you can literally watch it eat the flesh before your eyes.
The bacteria, which are called Vibrio vulnificus, typically grow in salty waters with temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. They’ve mainly been found along the Gulf Coast and in southern states such as Louisiana and Texas, but this year’s warm weather has caused them to show up as far north as Delaware Bay.
They’re more commonly seen in people with weakened immune systems, such as those who have liver disease or use steroids. They also tend to develop when someone swims in contaminated water and then cuts or scrapes their skin or ingests it by eating contaminated seafood.