Weapons The Scariest Biological Weapons in History  

Richard Rowe
1.6k votes 389 voters 37.4k views 16 items

Since the earliest days, humans have employed bioweapons both invisible and nefarious: killers on two legs, four, six, eight - and plenty with no legs at all. All of these agents of biological warfare, fresh with the fury of nature, have taken their turns inspiring terror in enemy forces, and turning the tide of unwinnable battles.

In the modern day, just as many bio-weapons have been employed by terrorists and monsters, "humans" who barely qualify for the title. Yes, history is filled with deadly organisms - viruses, bacteria, harmless looking flowers, and even playful sea mammals. All have seen their fair share of battle, and some were admittedly pretty awesome. But if this otherwise terrifying bioweapons list anything to teach, it may be that nature's most brutal creations are those dogs of war called "man."
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The Black Plague

The Black Plague is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Scariest Biological Weapons in History
Photo: via Reddit
Also known as "Bubonic Plague" or the "Black Death," the terror that wiped out a third of Europe's population may have been a bioterrorism attack. The rat-borne fleas that carried the Yersinia pestis bacteria is theorized by some to have been introduced to Europe deliberately by Ghenghis Khan's Mongol invaders a hundred years before, existing for some time in isolated areas before being carried into cities later on. That may or may not be true, but the Black Death remains a viable bio-terrorism weapon today.
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Motherf***ing Snakes on a Motherf***ing Boat

Motherf***ing Snakes on a Moth... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Scariest Biological Weapons in History
Photo: via Wikimedia

Military genius Hannibal Barca makes this list twice for his use of terrifying bio-weapons. Little known is the fact that Hannibal was as gifted in naval warfare as on land, and he proved it while working as a mercenary ship commander. Facing down the massive navy of Pergamum, outnumbered and seemingly doomed, Hannibal waited until the enemy ships were practically on top of him before he unleashed his secret weapon: a hail of clay jars filled with poisonous snakes.

The jars shattered inside Pergamum's ships, and utter chaos erupted inside them. The ships were immediately immobilized, as the oarsmen stopped rowing and started trying to escape the venomous carpet underneath them. Hannibal proceeded to annihilate Pergamum's entire fleet at his leisure. Hannibal wasn't the first or only commander to use snakes in such a way on land or at sea - but nobody else comes close to comparing on style.
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Botulism is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Scariest Biological Weapons in History
Photo: via Twitter

You've probably heard of the incredibly deadly toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum - cosmetic surgeons sell it as "Botox," and they'll be happy to shoot it into your face for a fee. Or, you can get it for free in the form of food poisoning from spoiled meat.

Botulism toxin is the most acutely lethal toxin known to man. Botulism paralyzes the lungs exactly as Botox paralyzes facial muscles, and it is 100% lethal in high enough doses. Worse, because the botulism bacteria is tremendously common and easy to cultivate, practically anyone with access to spoiled food could make enough toxin to kill millions.
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Project X-Ray (The Bat Bomb)

Project X-Ray (The Bat Bomb) is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Scariest Biological Weapons in History
Photo: via Imgur

Believe it or not, America's most devastating weapon against Japan might not have been nuclear fission, but a bucket of burning bats. That's right. In what is undoubtedly the most notable example of animal warfare in the 20th century, "Project X-Ray" was a potentially devastating weapon that was just a few months too late to end the war. Effectively, the Bat Bomb consisted of hundreds of New Mexico's finest flying rats, each one carrying a time-triggered, napalm-like incendiary. The plan was to release bat bombs over Japanese cities at dawn; the bats would disperse, and roost for the day under the eaves of houses up to 40 miles away.

At the time, almost every structure in Japan was made of wood and paper, making the entire country one giant tinderbox. According to tests conducted in 1945 (pictured), the Bat Bomb's 20 to 40 mile radius of destruction might have made it potentially the most devastating weapon ever produced this side of a modern hydrogen bomb.
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