According to all medical research, cyanides are quite deadly or lethal type of poison that can immediately take effect against a contaminated victim. It actually comes in many different forms but the most common type used by the Japanese Imperial Army in World War 2 as poison trap was the infamous “glass-encased cyanide capsules”.
These cyanide capsules contains two separate chambers. One of the chambers contains a chemical component called, “Sulphuric Acid” while the other chamber contains a cyanide powder (“Potassium” or “Sodium”). If it happens that a digger accidentally broke the glass, the two components will mix together which produces a colorless fume known as “Hydrogen Cyanide Gas” (HCN). When inhaled, the smell is like a “bitter almond”.
Another common method used by the Japanese Imperial Army for their poison traps was that, they mixed powder type of cyanide on the final layer of soil that they used to cover their buried treasures. Aside from the soil, they also mixed it with asphalts or tar.
Signs and Symptoms of Cyanide Poisoning
The most common symptom that can be immediately observed with cyanide poisoning is “difficulty in breathing” like being suffocated. It is because this type of poison targets the cells of the human body responsible in utilizing the oxygen.
Here are more signs and symptoms of cyanide poisoning:
Once a victim is poisoned by a cyanide, his body will tend to become completely weak. As a result, he will experience confusion, excessive sleepiness, coma, shortness of breath, headache and dizziness.
2. Sudden Collapse
When cyanide is ingested, the effect of the poison can be immediate that the victim will suddenly collapse. It specifically affect the heart and the brain which causes either seizure or coma.
3. Pink or Cherry Red Skin Color
The color of the skin of a cyanide-poisoned individual can be pink or cherry-red it’s because the oxygen are being trapped in the blood unable to get into the cells.
4. Fast Breathing but Slow Heartbeat
A victim may breathe pretty fast but his heartbeat can be very slow.
A person who is aware that he or she has been contaminated with cyanide-poisoning will often result into suicide attempts.
Treasure Hunters and Cyanide Poisoning
As a treasure hunter, it is expected that you are already aware about the risks involve when attempting to recover the Yamashita treasures. The Japanese Imperial Army in WW2 genuinely hid most of their treasures consisting of deadly traps that only clever and experienced treasure hunters can safely recover.
Unfortunately, if a poison gas trap is triggered especially several feet deep from the ground, the diggers have “very low chances of survival” unless they are wearing their gas mask. You have to know that it is also impossible to escape because the effect of the poison gas is almost instant. So if the diggers got poisoned, it may take time for the rescuers to retrieve them out from the surface. But before they do, the diggers are most likely dead.
Moreover, cyanide gas can kill a human victim if inhaled directly into the lungs. At some distance, the presence of the deadly gas can be noticed which smells like a “rotten egg”. This should serve as an early warning for treasure hunters to stop their diggings and vacate the area. Or, wear proper equipment particularly their gas masks before they proceed on their excavation.