Renaissance Books That Will Actually Kill You

Chuck Banner | July 12th, 2018

Reading is good for you, that is what your parents and the school has always taught you. There are, however, some books in the world that you will want to avoid at all costs. Recently some Renaissance manuscripts were discovered in a school library that was poisonous. In fact, you could die just by reading them.

As strange as this sounds, some writings on paper can be toxic and they will even be deadly. This is due to the pigments and chemicals used in the ink. The University of Southern Denmark has found when they studied three ultra-rare Renaissance era scripts from their collection. After putting them under the x-ray they found an interesting discovery: glowing green arsenic.

They took the books to their x-ray machine to look at their book bindings, it is well noted that in the 16th and 17th centuries bookmakers used to recycle older parchment to make new books. They hoped they may discover some medieval hidden texts in these Renaissance-era writings.

All three books were caked in a layer of green paint so it was impossible to see with the naked eye, so with their x-ray machine, they hoped to find hidden text in the paint. Unfortunately, they were met with the realization this paint was arsenic. Arsenic is a natural element found all around the Earth, but when it comes in contact with hydrogen and oxygen, it then becomes extremely poisonous. Arsenic poisoning happens primarily by ingestion, therefore reading these pages and licking your fingers could result in death.

Most likely this was not done intentionally, at the time a popular green paint was Paris Green and it was arsenic-based. This was mass produced during Victorian times, many museums today contain paintings that are poisonous. The undercoat in these books was probably used to kill insects and vermin, keeping the books safe from pests.

Next Article
  • Only One Person Has Ever Been Cured Of HIV

    Timothy Ray Brown known as the Berlin patient is the only known person to have been cured. The problem is no doctors actually know what part of the treatment cured him. In 2007 this was a real disappointment when doctors finally cured HIV but had no idea how they did it. And it took them...

    Read More
  • The Rock of Guatape

    In the Colombian department of Antioquia lodged between the towns of Guatape and El Penol you will find an enormous boulder known as The Rock Of Guatape. Or if you are from Penol, then you may refer to it as the Rock of Penol - just depends on which town you are from. [caption id="attachment_7956"...

    Read More
  • Pig Farmers Say Marijuana Pig Feed Is Better

    Some farmers have a very interesting take on the progression of growing cannabis and the growing legalization of marijuana around the United States. Many believe it is the perfect crop to be commercialized and used in their animal feed - too keep them happy and relaxed! And well if you...

    Read More
  • Telegraph Invented Due To Heartbreak

    The inventor of the telegraph Samuel Morse had quite a tough life that was filled with numerous disappointments and this may really have been one of the reasons he ended up inventing the telegraph. Samuel Morse was born 225 years ago and is known around the world for having invented...

    Read More
  • Colorful Honey Created Naturally By Candy Eating Bees

    A couple of beekeepers in northeastern France were left scratching their heads in confusion when their bees started to produce thick blue and green honey completely naturally. The bees from their hives were found producing honey in odd shades of blue and green - something that was completely unheard of and never seen before. [caption...

    Read More
  • The Sheepdogs That Protect The Little Penguins

    On an Australian Island, there was a strong and vibrant colony of little penguins - that was until the foxes came and nearly ate them all up. Luckily for the little penguins they had a farmer on their side who decided to come up with an amazing way to protect them, in fact, it is...

    Read More
  • The Grueling Gaokao Exam Is The Toughest In The World

    China’s college entrance exam known as the Gaokao is thought to be one of the toughest examinations in the whole world. If you want a spot in one of the 2,200 Chinese universities then you need to ace your Gaokao exam. And it goes much deeper than that, sure the exam decides the university ranking...

    Read More
  • Tiny Sweat Bees Will Try To Feed Off Your Tears

    Recently doctors treating a Taiwanese woman for a swollen eye were shocked to find that she had over four little bees living in her, under her eyelid and feeding off her tears. These tiny little bees are known as sweat bees and are only around 3 millimeters long, so are small enough to fit under...

    Read More