From the dawn of humanity we've been figuring out how to avoid poisons that can make short work of our internal organs, such as mercury and polonium, can wipe out 50 million people with just 1 vapourised gram. But we're not so good at knowing at what point some harmless substances can become deadly. For example, if you had six cups of coffee an hour over a 12-hour period, uh oh, you're dead, because 70 cups contain enough caffeine to give just about anyone cardiac arrest, says the latest episode of AsapSCIENCE.
We all know alcohol is a poison in its own right, but did you know that 13 consecutive shots could easily kill you? That's because alcohol is a depressant, and enough of it will start to shut down the basic functions that keep you alive, like your breathing and heart rate. Even something as innocuous as water can kill you, but you're gonna have to try really hard, because you need about 6 litres of the stuff to cause your brain cells to swell so much you'll get headaches, seizures, and yep, even death, in extreme cases.
On the other hand, if you forego liquids and just load up on too much salt, you'll end up shrinking your cells down and suffering from a condition known as hypernatremia. "Forty-eight teaspoons of your favourite seasoning at once is enough to trigger this reaction, also leading to seizures, coma, or even death," says AsapSCIENCE.
If, like me, you're weird enough to swallow cherry seeds rather than spitting them out (because come on, that's even more gross), keep doing what you're doing - just don't accidentally bite down on one. Doing so with one or two pits will release enough cyanide to kill you in a particularly horrible way: your cells won't be able to process oxygen, so you'll basically choke to death internally. So long, and thanks for not leaving your disgusting cherry pits around, I guess.
Unfortunately, what we consume isn't the only thing that can kill us if we don't get the dosage right - being too tall is also a dangerous fate, as AsapSCIENCE explains.
No, nothing is safe in ridiculous quantities, but did you know that chocolate is bad for us in the same way that it is for dogs? I won't spoil how many bars you'd need to guzzle to achieve actual 'death by chocolate', but let's just say you're gonna need a whole lot of milk to help get it all down. Oh, and enough of that will probably kill you too. Sorry.