According to legend, Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt, ended her own life by enticing an asp to bite her. The snake we now call an asp produces very painful—but rarely deadly—venom.
The Egyptian cobra, shown here, is a more likely candidate, as its venom is extremely deadly. But it would have caused a painful demise, with violent convulsions. Cleopatra’s was reportedly a quiet, peaceful death.