The real illness that inspired Avatar Korra’s poisoning

Despite the fact that Legend of Korra is a display about elemental bending set in a fictional global, the collection takes numerous affect from truth. With the Pink Lotus and their poison, the display by no means confirms that it is mercury, however all indicators level to it. Liquid mercury is extremely poisonous, and will require a talented metalbender to control. The poison stocks the similar look as mercury, and reasons a bodily and psychological response in Korra that comprises hallucinations.

In season 4, episode 2, “Korra By myself,” the display recounts the following few years, as Korra recovers. Katara (Eva Marie Saint) makes an attempt to heal her, however she tells Korra that the poison did numerous “inside injury.” Korra’s signs strongly fit up with that of Minamata illness, as described via Boston College, a neurological illness that happens after serious mercury poisoning. Other people typically revel in ataxia — “a degenerative illness of the anxious machine,” as defined via the Nationwide Ataxia Basis — a loss of coordination and stability, in addition to muscle weak spot and numbness of their limbs, all of which occurs to Korra. 

Korra spends numerous time running arduous to regain regulate of her limbs, and transfer on from the wheelchair. The poison additionally impacts her bending, and reasons melancholy and PTSD that she should paintings thru. All of those signs line up with Minamata illness. 

Altogether, the display takes the topic of mercury poisoning very critically, and it kind of feels protected to mention that Minamata illness most probably performed an enormous affect within the depiction of Korra’s intense revel in. 

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