I know theoretically the human stomach is above the centaur's stomach so the obvious answer would be no.

But seeing as centaurs aren't real and we don't know what their internal biolody would look like structure and placement wise, it could be possible for there to be no human stomach at all. Or for some food to bypass the human stomach and go straight to the horse stomach?

So therefore would it be "possible" for a centur to eat something that might kill a human, or make them very ill, but not a horse?

  • $\begingroup$ I'd guess a centaurs internals would be more horse-oriented as by caloric budget; the horse part would probably consume more energy than the human part $\endgroup$
    – Dragongeek
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 16:52

2 Answers 2


Assuming a mythical creature is functionally a natural biological entity, then its physiology, metabolism & general biochemistry will be unlike either a horse or a human. However, it may be a mammal. So what poisons horses or humans might poison a centaur. of course, the other hand what will poison either humans or horses may not poison a centaur.

The preceding remarks were intended to clearly establish we are in realms of speculative toxicology and conjectural biology. This means the correct answer can be: perhaps.

However, it really depends on the nature of the poison proper. Many poisons will kill mammals -- this includes both humans and horses. So definitely not. Now if there are poisons which kill, say, humans and not horses, and, on the other hand, poisons that kill horse but not humans. However, either of these types of poisons won't lead to any easy answer.

Why not? Because we're considering a creature that is strictly speaking neither horse nor human. A centaur may be able to ingest and safely digest a toxic material or substance, say some kind of poisonous plant, that would kill a man, but a horse, and definitely not a centaur.

In conclusion, while many poisons, for example, arsenic, cyanide and strychnine, will kill humans, horse, and presumably centaurs, there could exist a class of poisons lethal to humans, but harmless to horses and centaurs. But you would need to understand the mechanism of its toxicity and how it affects the different types of creature.

  • $\begingroup$ an example might be phytotoxins, horses being herbivores have evolved ways of dealing with them, humans being omnivores just avoid a lot of plant toxins or use cooking to denature them. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 18:04



As to getting drunk, horses have large amounts of alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme in their livers to process the by-products of microbial fermentation and therefore are surprisingly capable of metabolizing the alcohol present in beer.

Horses have huge onboard fermenters - their stomachs. These can produce a lot of ethanol under the right circumstances. The horses want to capture all of those good ethanol calories and are metabolically ready to do it. I have read that it is pretty near impossible to get a horse drunk.

Your centaurs could be comparably resistant to ethanol. A couple of bottles of scotch is just a hearty meal for a centaur. And the centaurs make amazing scotch. Just a sip for you humans, though; ok?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ So, the centauromachy actually happened in reverse and was mostly the centaurs trying to disarm drunk humans? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 15:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles - actually trying to stop them from singing. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 16:21

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