Everyday Things That We Just Learned Are Actually Deadly

List Rules
Vote up the most surprising things that can end your life.

Sometimes in life, humans fully recognize that they are putting themselves in harmful situations. Thrill seekers and adventurists love facing uncertainty by visiting places they know are considered incredibly dangerous. Daredevils and outdoors people recognize that there's a level of peril underlying most of their adrenaline-fueled actions. Sometimes, everything goes well, and they escape an exciting experience unharmed. Now and then, they come home with intense stories of survival that prove they can conquer impossible circumstances. 

While these adventurers recognize and even welcome death-defying situations, many of us prefer to stay safe and relatively comfortable, living out our daily lives. Unfortunately, even mundane experiences and tasks have the potential to put us in grave danger. Hypochondriacs and worry-prone readers, beware: this list exposes some of the everyday things we just learned are actually deadly. 


  • 1
    692 VOTES

    Eating Too Much Black Licorice Can Lead To Fatal Pseudohyperaldosteronism

    The FDA warns that consuming too much genuine black licorice, an old-fashioned candy treat, can have fatal consequences. On September 23, 2020, a Massachusetts man who had eaten a bag and a half of the candy every day for three weeks perished from a licorice overdose. Similar cases in medical journals reported that too much of the candy caused muscle breakdown, hypertension, and death.  

    The candy contains glycyrrhizin, a sweetener extracted from the licorice plant. The chemical mimics a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, which can cause an imbalance in electrolytes that subsequently raises a person's blood pressure. While small amounts of the chemical don't cause much harm, people over 40 who consume 2 ounces a day over a few weeks can end up in the hospital with an irregular heartbeat. 

    This chilling factor is significant for those suffering from heart disease or high blood pressure, as it puts them at higher risk for illness. 

    While important to note, licorice lovers need not be too alarmed. Most licorice-flavored candies in the US contain only faint traces of glycyrrhizin, if any. Modern treats, like red licorice sticks and jelly beans, are flavored with anise oil instead. Also, genuine licorice containing glycyrrhizin is almost always clearly labeled, and eating it in small quantities is considered safe. 

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    626 VOTES

    Eating A Slug Can Infect You With A Brain-Destroying Parasite

    After his friends dared him to eat a slug, 19-year-old Sam Ballard became infected with a rare form of meningitis that put him in a coma for over a year. The unfortunate experience left the young man paralyzed from the neck down with severe brain injuries, ultimately leading to his death eight years later. The culprit was rat lungworm, an infection caused by parasites burrowing into the brain. 

    The infection is most common in rodents, but humans can contract the parasite by consuming undercooked or raw snails who ate rat feces before they became food themselves. While most consumers recover with little to no symptoms, sometimes eosinophilic meningitis breaks out. Ballard wasn't the only fatal victim suffering from the rare disease - other cases have been reported worldwide. 

    The best way to limit rat lungworm exposure is to avoid picking up snails and slugs from the ground and eating them. 

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    523 VOTES

    Ingesting Essential Oils Can Be Fatal

    In 2019, Boston 25 News confirmed with its regional poison control centers that hundreds of new essential oil exposure cases were reported to the Center of Poison Control and Prevention over two years. While poison expert Dr. Michael Buhler mentioned that using essential oils in diffusers is relatively safe, he cautioned oil enthusiasts to research before ingesting them or using them topically on the skin. 

    In some cases, a teaspoon of clove oil or penny royal oil can be equivalent to taking 100 aspirin - a potentially fatal episode for a child. Other potentially toxic oils include wintergreen oil, sage oil, cinnamon oil, eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, juniper oil, nutmeg oil, cedar leaf oil, and wormwood oil. 

    Poison experts recommend that oil users be mindful of how they store their oils to avoid accidental consumption, to avoid giving even small amounts of some oils to children, and to be aware that oral and throat irritation can occur if oil is ingested directly from the bottle. 

  • 4
    554 VOTES

    Your Lungs Can Pop Like Balloons If You Hold Your Breath While SCUBA Diving

    The deeper a diver goes underwater, the higher the pressure gets. As the pressure increases, a diver's lung volume decreases. When using SCUBA gear, breathing normally allows the equipment to keep oxygen flowing. But, if a diver keeps air in their lungs as they ascend to the surface after a swim, their lungs and air will expand as the pressure quickly drops. 

    Since holding the breath forbids air from escaping, oxygen keeps filling lung cavities until they tear or collapse like a balloon. Over-expansion of the lungs can also cause air bubbles to escape into a diver's heart, which is fatal if uncorrected.