Photo: Ancient Death-Smile Potion Decoded?



A fourth-century B.C. Phoenician mask found in Tunisia displays a grin not unlike those seen on victims of an ancient Phoenician "sardonic grin" potion administered on the island of Sardinia.

Scientists in May 2009 said they had finally uncovered the source of the potion's lethal, smile-inducing effects: the hemlock water-dropwort plant.

Photograph by DEA/G. Dagli Orti via Getty Images


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