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Natural History Museum’s New Exhibit Shows Off the ‘Power of Poison’

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Poison certainly has gotten a bad name for itself through the ages, but an exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History explains that it actually isn't all that bad. NY1's Stephanie Simon has more on the "Power of Poison."

Snow White’s poisonous apple, Alice in Wonderland's Mad Hatter and the three witches of Macbeth are all a part of a new exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History. The exhibit is putting fact to fiction and revealing the mystery behind the "Power of Poison."

It even highlights the nefarious substance's positive qualities.

"I think it shows nature and its interaction with humanity and how we bump into it and then bad things can happen. And then also how we can extract from it for phenomenal applications I mean they are coming up with cures and healing from nature from poisonous substance,” said American Museum of Natural History President Ellen Futter.

The new exhibit takes visitors through the history, and science, of poison.

"It’s a really, really, really cool exhibit because it explains a lot of things about poison,” said 5th grader Ellen Binstock.

Hands-on learning tools aid in demystifying this elusive substance.

"I thought that once you took poison that you would die but I didn't know that it could stop your muscles and you would get paralyzed and all that kind of stuff,” said PS 87 5th grader Aden Solomon.

As guests walk through the exhibit, they pass poison’s origins in the wild as a defense mechanism or way to catch prey, and move on to its use by humans throughout the ages for both good and bad.

"We have live creatures in this show, including the golden frogs which are among the most poisonous species extant and their about this big, their tiny but the pack a wallop. Also you'll parade through history, through literature and see all the applications of poison. What happens when humans collide with poison in nature? Lots of unsolved mysteries that we can now, because of the science and new applications, begin to unravel,” said Futter.

For those interested in unraveling the mysteries of poison, the exhibit will be at the American Museum of Natural History through August.

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