You are in a spaceship approaching a newly discovered, uninhabited planet. Your instruments tell you there is sufficient oxygen in the atmosphere, the temperature is comfortable, and there is water to drink.
You land and go out to walk on the surface. As you walk, you develop a headache, nausea, etc. and become confused and unable to perform simple cognitive tasks. Later, others in your party begin complaining of muscle and joint aches, become fatigued, irritable, depressed, etc. The illness is investigated by nurses and physicians who hypothesize a virus and/or bacterium is the cause. Some believe the condition is psychosomatic. Most of the health professionals are stumped.
After a time it is discovered that a very small, simple molecule is present in the atmosphere at a very low concentration. This molecule enters the body by breathing, attaching to hemoglobin and other vital body constituents, and rendering them unable to function normally. The small molecule reaches the brain, heart, muscles and other organs and has immediate and longterm, subtle and obvious effects, on well-being, mentation, emotional state, personality, etc.
Finally it is discovered that the causative agent is the insideous, invisible poison CARBON MONOXIDE!
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