Once upon a time at Harvard, I was working on a review of the Death Cap mushroom for the journal Mycologia, when I got distracted for half a year and wrote this popular science article for Slate instead.

Look at all those shares! I'm a bona fide science journalist now!

Look at all those shares! I’m a bona fide science journalist now!

Since starting my new grad program at Berkeley, I’ve picked this project back up and am slowly making progress.

My new problem is that I just can’t get over how poetic some of the early papers are that talk about this deadly mushroom.

And because the topic of mushroom poisonings is so gruesome, there are choice phrases that would make seriously awesome metal song titles. If you need inspiration, here’s a list of sinister phrases taken verbatim from some of the early 1900s papers. Just send me the mp3 when you finish your metal masterpiece. I want to hear it.

– Death Will Surely Follow

– Devoid of Color

– Objectionable to the Taste

– This Most Deadly Species

– Derangement of the System

– The List of Victims

– Queer Traditions and Superstitions

– As Men Grow Bolder

– Paralyzed in Great Numbers

– Severely Alone

– Usually Viewed With Suspicion

– Said to Produce Hilarity

– Uniformly Fatal to Swine

– The Results of their Mistakes


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