The Hemlock Water Dropwort plant is one of the most deadly plants in the plant kingdom, often reaching the number 1 in top 10 deadliest lists. Consuming it can bring about an unpleasant death in about 3 hours, notoriously leaving a smile on its victims faces at the time of death. If consumed more moderately, death can clock in slower at about 10 days.
The potent poison that lies within the Hemlock Water Dropwort is oenanthotoxin, which has what can only be described as horrific effects once ingested. These include incredible pain, sickness, seizures, paralysis, and finally, death.
The use of the plant as a method of execution had brought Homer, the famous eighth century B.C. poet who wrote the Iliad, to coin the term "sardonic grin" - in reference to the ritual sacrifices that took place on the island of Sardinia at the time using the Hemlock Water Dropwort.
It is prevalent around wet land and can be found in Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia. One of the things that makes it even more dangerous is that it has a similar resemablance to edible plants, such as parsley. It also commonly grows entwined with watercress. This has caused a number of fatalities over the years when people mistook the plant for one of its edible neighbors.