I'd like to know if after a standard apocalypse [societal collapse, looting and all that], it would be possible to acquire poisons such as batrachotoxin, tetradotoxin, or maitotoxin. I'd also like to know if there are any other substances that would work better for my purposes.

I'm looking for naturally occurring substances, as the character wishes to be able to:

Only use natural toxins

Have the target incapable of movement soon after delivery of dose [dose does not have to kill that quickly, as long as it does in the end]



Large quantities means that the character will be able to have upwards of 20 deliverable lethal doses on hand

There should not be a need for synthesis or other lab equipment to manufacture the toxins

Delivery method is tipping something pointed [a needle/dart] with it

Person affected should not be able to react/get away within the first couple minutes of injection

  • $\begingroup$ If i need to clarify or add tags, please tell me, as I have no idea what tags this should go under. $\endgroup$ – user47547 Feb 13 '18 at 23:18
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    $\begingroup$ How much is "large quantities"? $\endgroup$ – user535733 Feb 13 '18 at 23:21
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    $\begingroup$ "I'd also like to know if there are any other substances that would work better for my purposes." - Unanswerable, because we do not know your purposes. Do you want to deliver it in food? Skin contact? On an arrow? How soon is soon? "Not use any chemicals" - substances you listed are chemical substances, as pretty much everything in toxicology is. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Feb 13 '18 at 23:21
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    $\begingroup$ @HansZ Probably not, as the intended purpose is deliverable doses, which he can use without having to go through the extraction process $\endgroup$ – user47547 Feb 14 '18 at 0:30
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    $\begingroup$ I guess having that one weird friend with a trunk full of snakes is out then. $\endgroup$ – Hans Z Feb 14 '18 at 0:36

It really depends on your area. Here in the US, you will have an easier time in the East than the West. Most of the poisonous snakes in the West are vipers that have muscle and blood attacking poisons. What you want are neurotoxins like the cottonmouth and coral snake have. Those are much more common in the East (coral snakes can be found as far west as southern Arizona). Vipers' venom will kill you just as dead but it won't be as fast as you are looking for.

In the West, you may have some luck with scorpions but they aren't so common that I'd rely on them. Also, snakes can be kept alive and fed to produce more poison.

I'm not as familiar with other places except that you are pretty much S.O.L. in Hawaii due to their lack of poisonous land creatures. If you are in Australia, however, you are in luck. Just look out your door and you'll see something toxic.

Edited to correct mamba/coral snake mixup that @jamesqf pointed out in the comments.

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    $\begingroup$ The black mamba is native to southeastern Africa: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_mamba Unless it's been imported and escaped, like the Burmese python in Florida, you'll have a hard time finding it in the eastern US. Perhaps you mean the coral snake, which has a neurotoxic venom and is native to the southeastern US, though one (sub?) species is found as far west as southern Arizona. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Feb 14 '18 at 4:40
  • $\begingroup$ @jamesqf, you are correct. I'll edit to reflect your correction. For some reason, I thought that there was a much darker colored snake. Maybe I was just thinking of a darker bread of cotton mouth. $\endgroup$ – ShadoCat Feb 14 '18 at 18:33

You run into a rather interesting issue in post apocalyptic snake or venomous insect wrangling. While there are now no real constraints on the numbers of venomous animals you could trap and extract poison from, there are also no hospitals or poison control centres to assist you should you get bitten.

You will also have a certain amount of difficulty finding the information needed to build and operate a lab for the purposes you describe, for obvious reasons....logging onto Amazon.com and ordering and receiving delivery for special order parts will also be difficult.

Finally, you will need something like refrigerated storage. Venom is made up of complex molecules, and having it spoil while waiting for the harvesting process to be complete is a waste of good venom.

Finally, assuming you plan to actually kill someone, you will need to take the venom out of the store room, and hand load each dose of venom into whatever delivery system you can count on. And then you also need weapons to do the delivery. Even if the firearms are stored properly, it takes years and even centuries to degrade to uselessness. Similar observations could be made for most methods of delivering a biological conventional or nuclear attack.

In short, it is probably better to just walks through the devastated neighbourhoods of America than to try to extract large quantities of poision.


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