Monday, October 18, 2010

Alexander the Great killed by toxic bacterium in The Styx

Originally, Alexander the great was said to have died over 2000 years ago of alcohol poisoning. Recent studies have shown that Alexander the Great may have died from an extraordinarily toxic bacterium from the Styx River. Alexander became ill while at an all night drinking party in Babylon, when he suddenly began crying out from a sudden “Sword stabbing pain in his liver,” which what the effect of the bacterium would do to you. In the twelve days following, he worsened and was unable to move anything but his hands and eyes. Later he fell into a coma a died on June 11, 323 B.C. According to studies the bacterium in the Styx River is called calicheamicin, which is a secondary metabolite of Micromonospora echinospora. Calicheamicin was discovered in caliché in the 1980s, it is crusty deposits of calcium carbonate that form on limestone and is common in Greece. According to myth the Styx was a portal to the underworld and it is where the gods swore sacred oaths. If a god lied on the sacred oath Zeus made them drink from the river and they were struck down. Alexander was said to be semi-divine which is why a sacred poison used by the gods was appropriate for him. The Styx has now been renamed to Mavroneri, meaning “Black Water”. It originates in the high mountains of Achaia, Greece, its cold water cascades over a limestone crag to form the second highest waterfall in Greece. Most people believe Alexander still died of natural causes, but a further study could prove otherwise.
By Tyler M.
7th period

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