Potatoes are very delicious and versatile food, but they might be deadly if they are improperly prepared or if they are old. If you have old potatoes in your home, you need to throw them out or you are going to suffer the fate of 8-year old Maria Chelysheva from Russia, who became an orphan in 2014 after her family died from some old batch of potatoes that decomposed in their basement!
One day Maria’s father went to the basement to get some potatoes for lunch, but when he didn’t come back, her mother went down as well. However, neither did she come back. The same thing happened with Maria’s brother and her grandmother – everyone who entered their basement never came out!
Potatoes are abundant inglycoalkaloids, the chemical compounds that can be found in various poisonous plants like nightshade. They make potatoes very toxic in the right circumstances, and they can be deadly not only when ingested, but also when their fumes are inhaled. As potatoes rot, their glycoalkaloid concentration goes up, making them to emit dangerous gasses which could kill people. Maria almost died as well when she went searching for her family, but luckily, the gas dissipated because her mother left the basement open.
Sadly, this girl became an orphan, but her story is surely going to serve as a warning to others – you need to throw out potatoes when you see them rot!