Random Fact

If all the ice on Antarctica melted, sea level would rise over 60 metres.

Geek of the week

Nominate someone...

Nominate a Geek. Email [email protected] hypothesis.co.uk

Killer Tomatoes

Family resemblance: would you trust a member of belladonna's family?
As near relatives of the nightshades – which includes belladonna or deadly nightshade – it should be unsurprising that tomatoes can kill. And indeed one cherry tomato can lay out a cat with surprising efficiency thanks to it containing the chemical solanine, which is also toxic to humans. However, it is extremely rare for the concentrations of solanine to become high enough to cause people any harm.

But solanine isn’t the only weapon a tomato has up its sleeve – it is one of the few vegetables that can cause an allergic reaction. A study in 2002 found a particular protein which could cause the extreme allergic reactions that have bumped off a fair few unfortunate souls.

Tomatoes can count a further two victims to their tally in unusual circumstances. In September 2004, 23-year-old Steven Keim and his Amish buddies hid out in a tomato field and pelted passing cars. What they hadn’t reckoned on was the irascibility of local loon Marion Weaver who, after having his silver Cadillac redecorated an interesting shade of tomato, went home, got his gun and returned to exact somewhat inflated revenge by shooting Steven Keim through the heart.

Weaver became the tomatoes’ second victim the next day when he suffered a massive heart-attack. Who would have guessed that he was so highly strung?

Back to Top Ten Deadly Vegetables

You could also try:
Hub image: Anna H-G
Belladonna: W

Return to the top »

Share this

Bookmark this article at Digg Bookmark this article at del.icio.us Bookmark this article at Slashdot Bookmark this article at StumbleUpon Email this article to a friend




Register with The Null
05 May 2009
Website by Forward Slash Media and Bristol Developers