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    Ferdinand Magellan's maritime expedition that resulted in the circumnavigation of the Earth and the discovery of the strait that bears his name is among the greatest feats in history. The trip, which took more than three years, was not completed by Magellan, who died on the island of Mactan, Philippines in a scuffle with the locals. As reported in Magellan's voyage journal written by Pigafetta, Magellan died after receiving a poisoned arrow in his right leg. This study reviews the main compounds used by indigenous from the Philippines and Southeast Asian to poison their arrows, their agents, and effects. These poisons are mainly derived from Aconitum and other species, such as Strychnos, Lophopetalum, Beaumontia, and Strophanthus. They contain cardiac alkaloids and glycosides, which can produce neurological and cardiac effects in just a few minutes. We argue that these toxic effects hindered the withdrawal of Magellan from the beach, facilitating his death in hands of the locals.


    Ricardo Espinoza-González, Juan Pablo Espinoza-González. The possible poisons contained in the arrow that killed Ferdinand Magellan]. Revista medica de Chile. 2021 Nov;149(11):1636-1641

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    PMID: 35735326

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