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Potion Put a Smile on Dead Faces

A mysterious plant-based potion forced smiles on the faces of the condemned 2,800 years ago, long before the Joker began carving smiles into his victims’ faces in “The Dark Knight.” Now researchers have found a plant on the island of Sardinia which creates the same effect.

The hemlock water-dropwort plant became the likely suspect after researchers started following a spate of modern suicides which left grinning corpses in their wake. Ancient Phoenician colonists who lived on Sardinia used the herb’s muscle-relaxing effect to drug the elderly and criminals before ritualistically killing them.

Read the original article at: news.nationalgeographic

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