Laugh all you like, you won't be laughing when it sprays you with its jade trunk of death.


I figured out that I wanted an elephant that sprays poison (not acid) out of its trunk a while ago (Thank you, @James for that idea.)

Now, the poison is a misted poison sprayed through the trunk of the elephant. The venom glands that produce it are modified parotid glands that bulge like hamster-cheeks (parotid glands are usually venom or saliva glands located from below the ear running down the jaw/cheek). In this scenario, the glands are very swollen from storing plenty of poison, so imagine an elephant with small hamster-cheek protrusions from its jaw.

Let's say the elephant can produce 1/2 gallon of poison per gland per week.

The poison has to have some way to reach the trunk of the elephant.

The elephant is:

  • immune to this poison
  • a fully grown adult
  • and has the diet needed to produce this amount of poison

The eyes of the elephant have a second inner eyelid to protect the eye when "misting."


How would the venom run into the trunk, and how could the elephant spray it into a fine mist? I am looking for a structural component.

Thanks to all in the Sandbox for helping me with this question.

No handwavium answers/comments or unbuilding of the premise, please.

  • $\begingroup$ I suggest you edit in the location of where the parotid glands are located. A quick google search answered my question (just in front of the ears) but this sort of information should be included either in the text or via a link. In text is normally preferred as as you know links occasionally die. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ Have you considered some sort of modified sinusitis and sneeze mechanism? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 14:23
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I look forward to seeing answers on this... $\endgroup$
    – James
    Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ @EveryBitHelps Yes, I edited in the location. No, I hadn't thought of a sinusitis mechanism. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 15:37
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @M.A.Golding Because he wants them in his world. I have a cat that emits sonic energy to stun prey in my world. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 19:16

2 Answers 2


If I recall correctly my knowledge of anatomy, we humans have some conduct going from the lacrimal glands to the nose. That's why when we cry our nose also runs.

We can imagine that a similar conduct is also used, going from the parotid glands to the trunk, or slightly modify your elephant to produce venom from modified lacrimal glands and use the existing conduct (tears already contain something other than water).

I think that dripping the venom while energetically blowing out should be enough to disperse the drops into a mist (refer to what happens when you sneeze). If you want to be sure you can insert into the trunk some features to increase the turbulence of the flow.

On a side note, an elephant trunk has a capacity of a bit more than 2 gallons. I am afraid 1/2 gallon per week is going to be a short supply.

  • $\begingroup$ I was actually planning on more than two gallons, but I was worried that people would think that unreasonable. Imagine my joy when I learn that I could do more! Nice answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 15:17

Let's see if this one can work: For the fine mist of poison, it would be better not to use the hollow of the trunk as it will result in a splash of poison, instead of a spray/mist. Also, the capacity is only 1 gallon at max, so there is not enough poison for the whole trunk.

  • Consider using some capillary-like structure within the trunk.
  • If you pay attention to the trunk tip, there is a pointy end on top and bottom. (I don't know what it's called.)
  • Consider having a series of capillary ends on top pointy end, these will work as the exit points for poison.
  • The bottom end will be used to air seal the hollow of the trunk so that it can build up pressure inside of capillaries
  • Then, use a sneezing like action (the cylindrical part of the trunk suddenly shrinks and sends an air jet into the capillaries ) to pressure spray the poison from the capillaries out of the pointy end.
  • Here, you will get a nice precise mist.

Now, The logistics of how to get the poison from glands into the capillaries:

  • There could be direct capillary routes from the glands to trunk via nasal cavity (very straightforward).
  • When the elephant pushes its tongue against its mouth roof, it will pump the poison into the capillaries.

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