How "Flying Death" Has Saved Hundreds of Lives

  • Added:  2 months ago
  • Curare, known as "flying death," was used for centuries to make poisoned arrows. Scientists discovered how to use it to create life saving medical treatments that we still use today.

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  • EducationEducation
  • Runtime: 4:31
  • SciShow  science  Hank  Green  education  learn  poison  darts  arrows  curare  flying death  skeletal muscles  Chondrodendron tomentosum  tubocurarine  alkaloid  neuromuscular blocking agent  anesthesia  chloroform  strychnos toxifera  

Comments: 472

  • Zacharias
    Zacharias 23 days ago

    So its Venom not poison right?

  • Lynette Hannan
    Lynette Hannan Month ago

    I've always found this subject interesting, mainly because I have an inherited 'sensitivity' (I don't know why they refuse to term it an allergy) known as an "atypical pseudocholinesterase". This means that I am 'abnormally sensitive' to depolarizing muscle relaxants (Scoline, Anectine, Brevidil E & M, and Miracurium - although they've been phasing out these particular drugs for a while now). The impact of this means that it is harder for my body to metabolize these drugs, therefore it can take longer for me to regain the use of my muscles, including those for breathing. This condition came from my mother's side of the family.
    My father, on the other hand, had an op' MANY decades ago (60s or 70s I think), where he was able to recall the surgeon's conversation with the anesthetist about their golf game earlier that week - until he managed to twitch a finger and they put him under completely. He was furious with them; he felt everything they did, and it took him a long time to finally move and get their notice. They at first refused to believe him until he recounted their conversation.
    I personally don't believe they will ever find one drug to suit everybody, there are simply too many variables. If they did, it may mean there's something wrong with the population - inbreeding, etc.

  • Wolfie AJ
    Wolfie AJ Month ago

    Why do birds fly right in front of cars coming their way?

  • johannes stobberup
    johannes stobberup Month ago

    It has to Penetrate the skin, i think you mean it's a venom then

  • R.B.
    R.B. Month ago

    Why is there flying death around my anus?

  • Trish Brock
    Trish Brock Month ago

    Is this also related to any of the drugs they use today for "seizure" medications? Or medications to stop "ticking" movements in many people that have disabilities or that may experience from side effects from other medications? Just curious...thank you.

  • AnthonyMazzarella
    AnthonyMazzarella Month ago

    Curaure is not a poison it is a venom. poison is toxic when ingested, venom when injected.

  • Milius. Genghis Khan. 2017

    Time to save hundreds of people by donning warpaint, beating my chest and screaming at the top of my lungs in the jungles of 'nam.

  • Sophie the Jedi Knight
    Sophie the Jedi Knight 2 months ago +2

    Fun fact: curare is Latin for "to cure"

  • neverAskMeWhy07
    neverAskMeWhy07 2 months ago +2

    1:05 "back breaking convulsions during shock therapy" let that sink in...

  • doudy126
    doudy126 2 months ago

    How can you catch helicobacter Pylori ?

  • Laura K
    Laura K 2 months ago

    Science and history in one video? Must be my lucky day! Thanks SciShow!

  • Vasilis Tsitsos
    Vasilis Tsitsos 2 months ago

    Hey! This guy doesnt look like a nerd!!!

  • FluteGeek
    FluteGeek 2 months ago

    MONTREAL!!!! YAS, Canada!

  • moreCuriousThanACat
    moreCuriousThanACat 2 months ago +1

    what's sad is that destruction of rainforests across the world have possibly wiped out some potential scientific advancements provided by nature

  • Fredrik Åfeldt
    Fredrik Åfeldt 2 months ago

    "Generally, anesthesia is a way to make people..."
    Pun intended? As in "genereal anesthesia"? I see what you may or may not have done there.

  • coletteitsfrench
    coletteitsfrench 2 months ago

    Same research was also used to create the first treatment for Myasthenia gravis. The antidote for curare is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor and a british doctor recognized that that would help her patient that had similar symptoms as someone with curare poisoning.

  • maattthhhh
    maattthhhh 2 months ago

    so... some anesthesia can paralyze the lungs, but not the heart?

  • Andre Tsang
    Andre Tsang 2 months ago

    "Generally, anesthesia"


  • Manthan Shah
    Manthan Shah 2 months ago

    anyone learned about curare from tintin?

  • Christopher Day
    Christopher Day 2 months ago

    So can tubocurarine be used as a treatment for Sarin poisoning?

  • john doe
    john doe 2 months ago

    Kind of the opposite of an acetylcholine esterase inhibitor like sarin?

  • Ryan Frank
    Ryan Frank 2 months ago

    i like your haircut :)

  • Brigantos Orcaitori
    Brigantos Orcaitori 2 months ago

    Poisons are ingested
    Venums are injected

    ERROR 2 months ago

    during some part earlier in my life, I developed spasming, but only (sometimes) when I yawn or stretch after a while.

    ERROR 2 months ago

    I don't think we'll be making medicine that includes parts of manchineel trees. ever.

  • Pre Example
    Pre Example 2 months ago


  • Russkiy Smiffy
    Russkiy Smiffy 2 months ago

    @0:56 dat donkey was given some LSD too?

  • Natanel Sharabi
    Natanel Sharabi 2 months ago

    _Cave Johnson here. we thank you for your contribution. TO SCIENCE!_

  • dino boss
    dino boss 2 months ago

    is soda really caffeine free?

  • Sean Walaszek
    Sean Walaszek 2 months ago

    thats dat Michael Jackson juice...

  • Afrika Smith
    Afrika Smith 2 months ago

    I bet this made alot of injured WWll soilders happy.

  • Zachary Moore
    Zachary Moore 2 months ago

    No snakes are poisonous... 1:20

  • finder3
    finder3 2 months ago

    how is this on trending with 200k views

  • anonymous
    anonymous 2 months ago

    complete BS that you can eat a poison arrow frog's poison and it will "do nothing" it's 3000x more potent than morphine which is why the horse had to be put on a ventilator,it can be destroyed by the digestive system but so is morphine which gives it 10% bolavailability,but under the tongue or applied to mucous membranes you're doing to die

  • Manny Owlstein
    Manny Owlstein 2 months ago

    Did they at least get to eat the donkeys?

  • Leopoldo Aranha
    Leopoldo Aranha 2 months ago

    Shouldn't royalties be paid for those native tribes? *nudges the big pharma*

  • carson smith
    carson smith 2 months ago

    I knew this because of skyrim when Karliah shot you with a poison that paralyzes you and slows your heart rate preventing blood loss

  • Maki Chan
    Maki Chan 2 months ago

    Rip shrek's donkey and donkeys baby dragon donkey's

  • Korvin Ezüst
    Korvin Ezüst 2 months ago

    How else thought of Deadshot immediately when Michael said "curare"?

  • Petros Adamopoulos
    Petros Adamopoulos 2 months ago

    Worries for a couple of donkeys after mentioning people have been using the thing on animals for millennia to kill them. Insults my intelligence.

  • topper007style
    topper007style 2 months ago +1

    Really enjoyed this one. Reminded me a lot of the James Burke series 'Connections'--would love to see more stuff like this!

  • MrCarter'sRods
    MrCarter'sRods 2 months ago

    You guys should explain why it hurts when people pee.

  • Tactical Idiots
    Tactical Idiots 2 months ago

    Wouldn't that make it a venom?

  • IntroWellness
    IntroWellness 2 months ago

    Each batch was a gamble 🙈

  • Bob Sweet
    Bob Sweet 2 months ago

    Super impressed you just said "Montreal" 👍 Americans usually say the city then the country for some reason; like you wouldn't know where Manchester or Perth is lol

  • Tihowiel
    Tihowiel 2 months ago

    just imagined a superhero shooting arrows with medicine. "Oh i think i have a col..." BOOM HEADSHOT

  • A Prole
    A Prole 2 months ago

    "screws with the chemical messages". This techno-speak is so hard to understand, could you dumb it down a bit for us small brained viewers?

  • I dont know what to put for my username

    The only reason why I know what "curare" is, is because of arrow...

  • vichetca
    vichetca 2 months ago

    Bless those 2 donkeys

  • OverKnight 52
    OverKnight 52 2 months ago

    This is legit? It was on arrow, deadshot would lace his bullets with this poison and if the. Bullet didnt kill you the poison would in about 5 minutes

  • spongekupo
    spongekupo 2 months ago

    ah shot of curare

  • Warrior Son
    Warrior Son 2 months ago +2

    Donkey died
    Daddy cried
    Inky pinky ponky....

    • Meg Ravenclaw
      Meg Ravenclaw 2 months ago

      Inky binky bonky
      Daddy had a donkey
      Donkey died
      Daddy cried
      Inky binky bonky

      Inky binky bonky
      Daddy had a donkey
      Daddy died
      Donkey cried
      Inky binky bonky

  • Benjamin Hershey
    Benjamin Hershey 2 months ago

    So they just jabbed needles and injected poison into the donkeys? Sounds like a real pain in the ass!

  • Shak Pherze
    Shak Pherze 2 months ago

    I was pierced by an arrow once. Since then I've been having hallucinations of an imaginary friend who can punch things

  • Max Mick
    Max Mick 2 months ago

    I have a suggestion for the next video! "Why does my CRT make that high-pitched noise?"

  • Alt-Centrist NeoCaliph-PaleoBonapartist

    not a poison

  • Margarita Zaboloteny
    Margarita Zaboloteny 2 months ago

    he got buff

  • 2Awesome
    2Awesome 2 months ago

    How did the donkey #3 not fall over? Can it stand up with muscles not working?

  • Harry PAnnU !
    Harry PAnnU ! 2 months ago +1

    mate u gained bit weight lately

  • huldu
    huldu 2 months ago

    I love when men poke around inside my body, especially black men. They can touch areas no others can reach.

  • Telleryn
    Telleryn 2 months ago

    Another reason to protect what natural biodiversity we have left in rainforest and reef, who knows what other potentially useful molecules are out there

  • sifat md abdullah
    sifat md abdullah 2 months ago

    did the guy get fat? :/

  • Shall NotWither
    Shall NotWither 2 months ago

    Thumbs up mention of Ecuador.

  • Terrell Perry
    Terrell Perry 2 months ago

    stealing Europeans what's new

  • Asd Fg
    Asd Fg 2 months ago +1

    Are you starting to put on some weigh there mate?

  • KiddsockTV
    KiddsockTV 2 months ago

    I Love the technical term of "screws"

  • Gothead420
    Gothead420 2 months ago

    Plants are plain amazing.
    What a biochemical wealth to explore...

  • Gexxys
    Gexxys 2 months ago +2

    It isn't dangerous when eating it?
    Eats Curare to prove it isn't dangerous, accidently bites his tongue, dies from poison

  • Robbie Keith
    Robbie Keith 2 months ago

    Your hair looks good in this video.

  • denis pucheu
    denis pucheu 2 months ago

    They were using an anesthetic extracted from a Murex thousands of years ago. Pliny wrote about it.

  • infirmux
    infirmux 2 months ago

    So the 3rd donkey was killed promptly after they ate the first two?

  • Gin the raptor
    Gin the raptor 2 months ago

    What can electricity do to the human body as a weapon?

  • MineFish [DP]
    MineFish [DP] 2 months ago

    0:55 that donkey is me.

  • Farhan Noor
    Farhan Noor 2 months ago

    use haoushoku haki.... unconscious in a sec..

  • Lala Bb
    Lala Bb 2 months ago

    Why are there poison arrows around my anus?

  • DolanPls
    DolanPls 2 months ago +1

    "Thats how they did science back in the day" That's still how we do science today to be fair

  • Lightning Bug
    Lightning Bug 2 months ago

    it's nice to know how anesthesia was invented. I am still wondering how suppositories were invented! I suppose some scientist said one day: "where should we put this medicine? oh! I know, let's put it in 3rd donkey's butt while he's still under anesthesia!"

  • miloradvlaovic
    miloradvlaovic 2 months ago

    Someone's gotten a bit ... on the chubby side o.O

  • Dragnerve
    Dragnerve 2 months ago

    I once was saved from bleeding to death cuz my friend Karliah used a poisoned arrow on me before I got stabbed by Mercer.

  • Frank Winterlong
    Frank Winterlong 2 months ago

    Q'rahre? xD

  • Fruiplusel - Crunchy Rainbow

    can you tell what actually happen if put vga into water when connecting computer ??

    • Fruiplusel - Crunchy Rainbow
      Fruiplusel - Crunchy Rainbow 2 months ago

      NeeoAnt but if put salt and copper ??

    • NeeoAnt
      NeeoAnt 2 months ago

      VGA is a graphics standard, an immaterial thing, and as such you can't put it into water.

      If mean something else, then it would get wet, obviously.

  • James Cashman
    James Cashman 2 months ago

    I used to be a Scientists like you, but then I took a poison arrow to the knee...

  • zeinul
    zeinul 2 months ago

    Hey man, you're getting fatter. Check your calories.

  • TheGoggles
    TheGoggles 2 months ago

    Science hates donkeys!

  • rillloudmother
    rillloudmother 2 months ago

    Only Hundreds of lives? Am I missing something?

  • Luke Paul
    Luke Paul 2 months ago

    love the donkey.

  • Storm Talifero
    Storm Talifero 2 months ago

    by the way you described it CURARE is a venom not poison it drives me crazy when people mix these up so stop saying poison

  • My main is Kid Cobra go away Min Min

    Why do I produce more snot when I cry?

    • My main is Kid Cobra go away Min Min
      My main is Kid Cobra go away Min Min 2 months ago

      Wow. I did not know that.

    • Meghan Darrah
      Meghan Darrah 2 months ago

      it's based entirely on the placement and the flow of movement through the tear ducts. tears begin in a duct that sits along the outer side of the upper eyelid, and along with tear production, there are two more ducts in the inner corner of the eye and along the nasal passage. the filtration of tears and clearing of the eye follows a path from the top, outer corner of the eye, across the eye, over to the inner corner of the eye, and down the nasal passage. excess fluid that is cleared away by the tear ducts in congruence with the tears that leave the eye due to overflow will drain into the nasal passages, causing the oh so familiar runny nose.

  • Edo
    Edo 2 months ago +1

    How does ripping up the lungs and stuffing an air tube into it going to work?

  • Robert Szasz
    Robert Szasz 2 months ago

    ROC rocks
    SUX sucks. 😉

  • Christopher Ellis
    Christopher Ellis 2 months ago

    sixteenth, and nineteenth, century, if you please. People from all over the world watch this, so try using standard English, rather than parochial terms. anæsthesia!
    poison in small doses can cure, but many small doses can accumulate, resulting in illness and death, like alcohol or tobacco.

  • The Angry Korean
    The Angry Korean 2 months ago

    well that's the first time a couple of Jackasses saved millions of people.

  • trash juice
    trash juice 2 months ago +2

    Michael Aranda is adorable

  • Mihai Mihai
    Mihai Mihai 2 months ago

    curare is not an anesthetic , it just paralyze.

  • Crystal_ignition
    Crystal_ignition 2 months ago


  • Anthony Davis
    Anthony Davis 2 months ago

    I have a poison tip

  • Fangirling potato
    Fangirling potato 2 months ago

    Gory sciences please!!!!!! Like history OF scalpel ... thanks! 🙂🙂

  • Michael S
    Michael S 2 months ago

    yo, anyone else notice his eyes. reminds me of me back when I had to use steriods on mine

  • Andreas Björkman
    Andreas Björkman 2 months ago

    If it has to get into the bloodstream it's not a poison, it's a venom. smh

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