The Power of Poison

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This exhibit has closed.


Toxin or Tonic? Lifesaver or Life-Taker?

enchanted bookThe Power of Poison, a new exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, is fatal fun where you will discover the complex role of poison from aphrodisiac and self-defense to lethal weapons and medical miracles. See how the toxins and venoms found in nature can be used for good and evil, and uncover why people remain obsessed with poisonous myths and legends to this day.

Poison in Nature


Find out how plants and animals use poisons to survive.

Poison in Myth and Legend

exhibit with spilled emeralds

Learn about the venoms, toxins, and viruses that surround popular tales
and legends, like Harry Potter, Snow White, and Macbeth. Seek out
the Enchanted Book for answers and antidotes.

Detecting Poisons


Play detective to help solve puzzling cases of accidental poisoning
by using clues about various toxins and poisonous creatures.

Poison for Good

kids and snake skull

Discover how plant and animal toxins are being studied to create
life-saving drugs.

Villains and Victims

cardboard cutouts of historical figures

Uncover how history’s most famous poisoners deployed their wickedness
in the world’s most well-known poisonings.

Educator Materials

Get the Poison Educator Guide:


Educational packets are now available for download:

Grades K-2 Grades 3-5 Grades 6-8 Grades 9-12

The Power of Poison is  organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York.

Media Sponsor:
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