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6 'Undetectable' Poisons (and How to Detect Them)

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Poisoning has always been a popular method of getting rid of one’s enemies, but is there actually a “perfect” poison capable of being completely undetectable? Here are 6 of the poisons that have confounded doctors throughout history! Hosted by: Hank Green ---------- Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scishow ---------- Dooblydoo thanks go to the following Patreon supporters: Kelly Landrum Jones, Sam Lutfi, Kevin Knupp, Nicholas Smith, D.A. Noe, alexander wadsworth, سلطا الخليفي, Piya Shedden, KatieMarie Magnone, Scott Satovsky Jr, Charles Southerland, Bader AlGhamdi, James Harshaw, Patrick Merrithew, Patrick D. Ashmore, Candy, Tim Curwick, charles george, Saul, Mark Terrio-Cameron, Viraansh Bhanushali, Kevin Bealer, Philippe von Bergen, Chris Peters, Justin Lentz ---------- Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet? Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/thescishow ---------- Sources: https://www.britannica.com/science/metalloid https://www.dartmouth.edu/~toxmetal/arsenic/history.html http://jmvh.org/article/arsenic-the-poison-of-kings-and-the-saviour-of-syphilis/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1742758/pdf/v079p00391.pdf https://www.chemistryworld.com/opinion/marshs-mirror/2500415.article https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/chemical_terrorism/cyanide_general.htm https://calpoison.org/news/acute-cyanide-poisoning https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/cyanide/basics/facts.asp https://phys.org/news/2015-03-cyanide-poisoning-seconds.html http://ccn.aacnjournals.org/content/31/1/72.full https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/2004/05/18/howard-teen-guilty-in-poisoning/d063a0ea-aa01-4f2b-90b6-3bfd901005ed/ http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2013/10/01/tianle_li_xiaoye_wang_why_thallium_is_known_as_the_poisoner_s_poison.html https://calpoison.org/news/thallium-poisoning https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6338655 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/06/polonium-210-poison-alexander-litvinenko https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/06/alexander-litvinenko-and-the-most-radioactive-towel-in-history http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/alexander-litvinenko-what-does-polonium-do-to-the-body-inquiry-andrei-lugovoi-and-dmitri-kovtun-a6824811.html https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/polonium-210a-deadly-element/3003225.article https://www.britannica.com/science/alpha-particle https://www.livescience.com/54901-free-radicals.html https://www.poison.org/articles/2007-dec/antifreeze-bad-for-your-kids-and-pets https://calpoison.org/news/diagnosis-treatment-ethylene-glycol-antifreeze-ingestion http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/01/inquiring-minds-deborah-blum-poison-forensics/ http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15563650701419011 https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-metabolic-acidosis#1 http://articles.latimes.com/1988-09-01/news/ga-4412_1_common-poisons https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3089829/ https://www.britannica.com/topic/cardiovascular-drug#ref295301 http://articles.latimes.com/1991-04-09/local/me-223_1_murder-case Images: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GHS-pictogram-skull.svg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arsen_1a.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Marsh_James.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Marsh_test_apparatus.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sodium_Cyanide.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kaliumcyanid.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Thallium_pieces_in_ampoule.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alpha_po_lattice.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ethylene-glycol-3D-balls.png https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Samlpe_of_Ethylene_glycol.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Glycolic_acid_3D_ball.png https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Calcium_oxalate_crystals_in_urine.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nerium_oleander_flowers_leaves.jpg
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Text Comments (1655)
Gee Whizz (22 hours ago)
How are they undetectable if you can detect them?
Robin Baker Barr (2 days ago)
Just noticed this was published shortly before Great Britain's Novochik incident. Some co-inkydink?
Cody Schlageter (3 days ago)
Well actually in the early 2000s they actually made antifreeze inpaleable which means it tastes terrible
Chris Hansen (3 days ago)
Murder is just rude and uncalled for
wow boo (5 days ago)
I thought Alexander litvenenko sounded familiar...buzzfeed unsolved!!!
J PR (6 days ago)
Death by eye drop poisoning
Greg Gallacci (7 days ago)
Nitrogen, pure and simple.
Kyle Logan (10 days ago)
Sooo, the title... Haha how do you "detect" "undetectable" poison? Lol
fyukfy (11 days ago)
2:46 *supposebly*
Stephen Otaku.231 (13 days ago)
I call wolfsbane
Charles-A Rovira (14 days ago)
Here is a quick acting and effective poison. _Get somebody drunk before giving them car keys and telling them to go home._
Shadow Dancer (15 days ago)
"Murder is bad" - Hank Green
Adam Smith (16 days ago)
Interesting fact: cigarettes contain small amounts of Polonium
j j (17 days ago)
Smoke Bullet (17 days ago)
I have OCD, why the hell am I watching this??.
a colourless smelly gas called arsine. . . . apparently is smells like arse
Backyardmech1 (18 days ago)
Ethylene Glycol. No matter how sweet it tastes, don’t drink it. Tide Pods. Matter how much they look appetizing, don’t eat them.
gökçe zora (18 days ago)
I recommed my ex as a poison; after penetration, rapid getting into bloodstream. Following dizzines, slow and painful death
Monstanachoz1 (19 days ago)
This title is so dumb lol, how to DETECT UNDETECTABLE poison, gg
Azraelle (20 days ago)
Good information for an aspiring mystery novelist.
Jenna White (20 days ago)
We treat ethylene glycol poisoning in veterinary medicine all the time, usually in dogs, and unfortunately with the APBT (American Pitbull Terrier). We keep a bottle of Smirnoff Vodka in house for such treatment. The poisoning is literally treated with ethanol. In dogs, it must be ingested within 8-12 hours of poisoning, and within 3 hours of poisoning in cats. After these time periods have passed, ethylene glycol poisoning is almost 100% fatal without hemodialysis. Quick response to treatment is critical for survival. Commercially made pharmaceutical antidotes (i.e., fomepizole) are the preferred treatment choice; however, this drug can be expensive and some veterinary hospitals do not carry it. Because of its low cost and ease of availability, alcohol (ethanol) is the antidote of choice for some veterinarians. Both antidotes work the same way by blocking the formation of ethylene glycol’s toxic metabolites that lead to acidosis and kidney damage. Hard liquors, including vodka and Everclear, when delivered intravenously, can save your pet’s life.
cat shultz (2 hours ago)
I had to take my little mutt pup after his antifreeze poisoning and luckily 25 miles away the er vet had the antidote you're speaking of..they had it ready,I paid bolted back and my little bean lived...what is the success rate when grain alcohol is used for them? I know it costs a fortune for the antidote & it caused seizures. I suspect my ex of putting some on a piece of food in the yard. Then I had a silly sweet friend literally pressure wash the yard for a 5 pound pup. That's why I was looking at this video...things to look out for for my dogs now
Aria Carmela (22 days ago)
Love the shirt. I know better than to try to off someone though.
Mihir patel (25 days ago)
physically tears up kidney tissues ? stones wasn't enough ?
mason kahl (25 days ago)
Disappointed wolfs bane got no mention
Kieran O'Dea (25 days ago)
That shirt makes you look like a little Chinese women
Nick C (27 days ago)
I chewed on an oleander leaf once, as a kid. Thank god a teacher asked what I was doing and told me to spit it out.
Yaume Lepire (27 days ago)
You know how the world is screwed up just by the fact that one of the best poisons comes from a small pink and purple flower.
Jon W (27 days ago)
Arsenic is what you get after eating a handful of razor blades... :)
thour does stuff (27 days ago)
*starts detecting undetectable poison*
Scott Edmonds (27 days ago)
That shirt is poisonous to my eyes 🙈
Annalyza Degamo (28 days ago)
How to dispose evidences??😅😂
Margot Robinson (30 days ago)
Ethylene glycol is especially dangerous to have around if someone is an alcoholic. My mother is a retired social worker, and she had a client who died because she had no wine, beer or liquor left and she drank antifreeze because the ethylene glycol was a form of alcohol. I was in the room because mom was called at home and ended up having to spend her weekend planning her client’s funeral.
Adam Smith (16 days ago)
Ironically drinking alcohol actually helps cure Ethylene Glycol poisoning...
Edvinas Sungur (1 month ago)
How about a poison that breajs down into 1 2 3 4 5 oleandrin and neriine
Catherine catherine (1 month ago)
Can u make videos in Hindi?or talk a bit slow plz
Nebby21 (1 month ago)
0:28, this is my motto, I wake up screaming this every morning. It is scrawled on my walls in the blood of my enemies and seared into my brain by endless repetition and an accident with a scalding iron.
Evan Cary (1 month ago)
¨Oxygen molecules¨? Don´t they mean dioxygen molecules? Singular oxygen is an element, not a molecule
medexamtoolsdotcom (1 month ago)
Poisons are "indetectible" insofar that if they are not specifically looking for it, they won't know about it. For instance if you poisoned someone to death with dimethyl mercury, they wouldn't likely determine they died of mercury poisoning. They would need to hypothesize they died of mercury poisoning, and then do a specific chemical test to test for the presence of mercury. And if they didn't, they'd conclude they died of natural causes. And such tests, there are a LOT of possible poisons, and they're not just going to sit there and test for the presence of thousands and thousands of possible poisons. Once they're done testing for mercury if it was negative, they'd have to test for ethylene glycol, i.e. antifreeze. Once they're done with that test, they'd test for arsenic. Once done with that test, they'd test for dioxin. For botulinum. For ricin. For methanol. For formaldehyde. For cyanide. For strychnine. For thallium. For lead. For pufferfish toxin. For sulfur dioxide. For hydrogen sulfide. The last 2 are smelly gases though. You'd have to like lock them in a room for that. There isn't some magical test that would just detect and identify any toxic chemical in the bloodstream, they'd have to perform separate tests for each one, and they're not going to test for thousands of things with every dead body that shows up in the morgue, they have more bodies to deal with. So if they get a body, unless they have a good reason to suspect they were poisoned by a specific thing, they're just going to conclude they died of natural causes. So go ahead folks, murder away! Just make sure to pick one that doesn't have gruesome and identifiable symptoms that makes them say "aha, this looks like XXXX poisoning". And most of them don't. Most of them will just turn you off like a lightswitch and leave the victim looking like they died of a brain hemorrhage or a heart attack.
Evie Roberts (1 month ago)
I think my Ex tried Arsenic on me.......
Charles-A Rovira (1 month ago)
@8:30 that explains the blood in the *Aliens.* They have just figured out ways around it.
Charles-A Rovira (1 month ago)
_Murder is bad._ but I can think of a few people I wouldn't mind seeing _life challenged._ 😉
Teodor Toma (1 month ago)
7:26 The electron-volt is a unit of energy, not momentum :)
Camden Snyder (1 month ago)
I promise I'm a writer, not a serial killer, that's why I'm watching this, to research for my stories (I SWEAR!).
UsenameTakenWasTaken (1 month ago)
Killing is bad. And wrong. We need a new, stronger word for killing. Like, "badwrong," or, "badong." Yes. Killing is badong.
François Cauneau (1 month ago)
... and what about DHMO ? Many more victims than from your deadliest list, it seems ;-)
So many nerds sub to this channel. How hot.
Joseph Stalin (1 month ago)
*makes sense*
jamie cleary (1 month ago)
The title is an oxymoron
jamie cleary (1 month ago)
+Perfect Shrek Good job did you think of that you're self?
Perfect Shrek (1 month ago)
Ur an oxymoron but without the oxy part
Mat (1 month ago)
am sure the "undetectable" and "how to detect them" words dont match
Will Matthews (1 month ago)
And now I really wanna try ethelyne glycol
Talishaish (1 month ago)
Woooo! I just watched Buzzfeed Unsolved about polonium 210 before this video.
Cabalex (1 month ago)
#7: cringy fandoms
dmcepeda (1 month ago)
Shriram Basidoni (1 month ago)
Why use poision send enough frustrative messages on Facebook, and yy
SuckerKiss (1 month ago)
Thanks for this..
Oliander you say...😈
ALEX CIOCCA (1 month ago)
He forget Coca Cola
Shawn Babcock (1 month ago)
What about Ricin? Isn’t that hard to detect?
"Murder is bad"... You should put that in a stone tablet and hang it in court walls!
chanchin chaunchy (1 month ago)
Is alchoal a poison?
Lylith Rodriguez (1 month ago)
0:28 “Murder is bad” -SciShow
bobbi mke (2 months ago)
"How to Hide the Stench of a Rotting Corpose" @ http://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2009/06/11/things_i_wont_work_with_thioacetone
bobbi mke (2 months ago)
"anyone who's knows a good way to get rid of a stinking smell?" ==> Drench the corpse in "Thioacetone" (C3H6S). Nobody will EVER notice the stench of death whilst retching their guts from a half-mile away.
bobbi mke (2 months ago)
0:25 "Murder is Bad" - Hank Green ==> You are TRULY fawhking hilLARious! For disposal, do you prefer (a) Chlorine Triflouride, (b) Azadoazide Azide, (c) Super-acid or (d) super-base?
Pakistani Proud (2 months ago)
_"murder is bad"_ - hank green (2017)
Blake Herron (2 months ago)
welcome to the government watch list, fellow viewers :^)
MAX Q (2 months ago)
Isn’t the lethal dose of polonium-210 a few micrograms, not milligrams?
Pandora Lupin (2 months ago)
0:28 but is it? Is it really?
moto1p1 (2 months ago)
6 'Oxy-Moronic' Video Titles (and Why They're Moronic)
ace it gaming (2 months ago)
10 deadly assassins that cant be found (how there are found) lol
vishesh jain (2 months ago)
This title exactly sounds like, ' 6 uneatable foods and how to eat them '
Dwarf Nuggets (2 months ago)
can you make your urine poison
MEGATRON 11X (2 months ago)
And... I now on a watch list
a literal dumpster fire (2 months ago)
My friend’s brother once made a belt out of oleander branches and had to go to the hospital. He also had a huge rash around his midsection and refused to go swimming without a shirt because of it. Needless to say he never did that again.
The_Mad_Bear 1096 (2 months ago)
Welcome to the FBI watchlist
KCN (2 months ago)
Finally I found somewhere I belong.
Chris Busenkell (2 months ago)
you have to show support for AT LEAST ONE OF THE POISONS?!!? if you were in charge of the king's dungeon and have to poison a child molestor which would you choose? what if it was Socrates you were putting to death?
Adam Smith (16 days ago)
I'd choose Dimethyl Mercury, only needs a single drop and it's a slow painful death
Hats and Dragons (2 months ago)
Today on "I'm a writer I swear I'm not going to actually kill someone..."
Godvenom x (2 months ago)
You forgot about the most dangerous toxin: Botulinum Toxin! 1 nanogram of it can kill an adult. 5 tablespoons of it can wipe out the human race||
901pro gamer (2 months ago)
another good poison would be radium but it is a very slow acting one
a guy (2 months ago)
I'll be sure to use one of these, thank you!
SnowFlakeKitten (2 months ago)
Your really smart! I don't know this stuff!
Tonya WhiteSmith (2 months ago)
I think my ex boyfriend did this when I moved here my thyroid shut down and then later I was poisoned another way by someone he knew.
Jj Fatts (2 months ago)
So ... can someone tell me what's up with the wallpaper Hank is wearing?
meghan parris (2 months ago)
I thought antifreeze didnt have a sweet taste anymore.... supposedly to keep people from killing others with it, and also so pets/wild animals wouldnt drink it if acidentally left out.
Jerry Hu (2 months ago)
More like "How to attract the NSA's attention"
jfbeam (2 months ago)
Most automotive anti-freeze's contain a strong bittering agent to discourage people (and pets) from drinking it. You won't intentionally drink it.
ihartevil (2 months ago)
well if you want to try to get away with murder it might not work it wouldnt have worked on me because we had phone calls to prove it was murder my dad tried to kill me by tampering with the moths/caterpillars in my stomach knowing i had them and what they could do because he watched your scishow vid that i cant prove however there was a youtuber who called him and told him exactly what was going on and how he needed to get me to a place where my stomach could be pumped the reason i am still alive and going to be completely fine is because of pure luck and my aunts friend so getting away with murder is easy if you dont leave any traces tampering with parasites in somebodys body is a decent way to try thx for this ha bisky vid i love you hank and i love that i get to say my dad tried to murder me i am a kitty i have 9 lives
Juxtaroberto (2 months ago)
The electron volt is a unit of energy, not momentum.
Rin Akihime Uirichiro (2 months ago)
My brothers was sitting beside me while watching this. They said murder is good for rin
Asher_wol4 A!p][5 (2 months ago)
I'm just curious what happens if someone were to take a daily dose of poison (preferably cyanide) ? Will they become immune to poison or will they just slowly die?
huh. ethylene glycol is interesting because i know that POLY-ethylene glycol is a SUPER strong laxative. (dont ask me how i know that, its a long story)
macsnafu (2 months ago)
Watching this video is just...research for the murder mystery I'm planning to write. Yeah, that's the ticket!
Billy boy (2 months ago)
a friend of mine eats oleander
sirati97 (2 months ago)
eV is not a momentum unit!!! eV/c is
Skeptical Eye (3 months ago)
Thanks, I will keep those in mind
Wolf Heart (3 months ago)
I was suggested this video by Youtube, just so were clear :)... Next 4 plants that are great for humans...
Crystal Price (3 months ago)
How horrible.
Grace Glover (3 months ago)
"Murder is bad" -Hank Green 2018
Rendra Rifaldi (3 months ago)
in early 2016, an Indonesian woman named Jessica Kumala Wongso poisoned her friend, Mirna, in a cafe using cyanide. Mirna who drank the poisoned coffee died minutes later after ingestion, the funny thing is the cafe had CCTV that proved Jessica has put something into Mirna's coffee before the murder took place aand yet the case took a year to finish. Jessica convicted with murder with 20-years jail sentece.
Akrivi Griva (3 months ago)
His shirt is so fancy

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