In honor of Halloween, here’s a spooky but true tale. In the 1950s three Oregon hunters went missing. They were discovered, weeks later, dead, around their campfire. There were no signs of foul play. Nothing had been taken from the camp nor did any of the hunters bear signs of injury. The only odd thing investigators found was rough-skinned newt, also dead, at the bottom of their coffee pot.
The case remained unsolved for about 10 years until a biologist named Butch Brodie discovered that the newt’s skin produces a toxin called TTX, a toxin 10,000 times deadlier than cyanide.
Apparently though these rough skinned newts don’t just go killing everything they touch. They only produce toxin when they feel highly stressed or threatened, like being scooped up from a stream in a coffee pot and boiled alive. In those kinds of situations, they arch there heads back as a warning and then let the toxins flow…
To read more about this, and to learn how these newts got so toxic in the first place, check out the links below.