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Friday, 16 January 2015

To Die For: Deathcap Mushrooms



Deathcap mushrooms have a smooth, yellowish-green to olive-brown cap, white gills and a white stem. They are highly deadly: the poisons in one cap are enough to kill a healthy adult and less will be enough to kill a small child.  They have a smooth, yellowish-green to olive-brown cap, white gills and a white stem. There is no way to remove the poisons from the mushroom. The poisonous compounds, which are found throughout the cap, gills, stem and spores,  are extremely stable and they cannot be removed by soaking, cooking or drying. 
Roman Emperor Claudius is said to have been murdered by being fed the death cap mushroom. However, this story first appeared some two centuries after the events, and it is even debatable whether Claudius was murdered at all. Pope Clement VII is also rumoured to have been murdered this way. However, it is similarly debated whether he died from any kind of poisoning at all. Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI and Tsaritsa Natalia Naryshkina are also believed to have died from eating the death cap mushroom.

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