How Different Venoms Kill (and Cure)


Australia is infamous for its abundance of venomous creatures, so understandably, some of the leading experts on animal venom reside in the Land Down Under. At James Cook University in Cairns, Queensland, Associate Professor Jamie Seymour studies toxinology in many species of venomous animals. Overall, these venoms are harmful, if not deadly, to humans.

In the video below, Professor Seymour demonstrates the lethal capabilities behind stonefish venom, box jellyfish venom, and brown snake venom. Watch the full video; it is well worth your time!

As you can see, each type of venom affects the body in different ways. In the case of the stonefish venom, the venom causes cells to die and, if left untreated, can create huge, gaping ulcers in the affected areas. In the case of the box jellyfish venom, it stops the heart and prevents it from pumping blood to the rest of the body. And, in the case of the brown snake venom, it causes the blood to clot and take on a jelly-like structure, which can have devastating results within the bloodstream.


Yet, despite the killing power of venom, venom can also be used to cure. For example, highly venomous cone snails can kill humans, but certain compounds in their venom can be used to create drugs more powerful than morphine.

Similarly, the venom of the highly venomous Sydney funnelweb spider can kill people, but certain compounds from it can also be used to cure breast cancer. It’s a double-edged sword, really.