Unusual substance found in William Shakespeare's garden

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Was William Shakespeare A Stoner?

William Shakespeare may have been under the influence while penning some of his most famous plays.

According to research from the South African Institute of Science, clay tobacco pipes dating over 400 years ago, were found in the playwright's garden. Using a technique called gas chromatography mass spectrometry, scientists were able to analyze the particles left behind. This method is so sensitive that anything smoked out of the pipes leaves a residual trace, even after centuries.

But what exactly was Shakespeare smoking?

Results of this study (including 24 pipe fragments) revealed traces of cannabis in eight samples, nicotine in at least one sample, and in two samples definite evidence for Peruvian cocaine from coca leaves.

To avid readers, this may not come as a shock. In several of Shakespeare's sonnets, the author writes about strange drugs and "weed" (in Sonnet 76, he mentions the "invention of a noted weed").

Chances are he wasn't high while writing "Romeo and Juliet," but hey, you never know.

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Rare Shakespeare folio found
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Unusual substance found in William Shakespeare's garden
Remy Cordonnier, the director of the Saint-Omer library’s medieval and early modern collection, opens a page of the newly discovered Shakespeare's original first folio in Saint-Omer, northern France, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. The accidental discovery in the small library in northern France of an original first folio of the bard’s plays _ one of the rarest books in the world _ has sent jitters of excitement around the world of Shakespeare enthusiasts, especially those partial to the theory that the bard was a secret Catholic. The find brings the total of known folios in the world to 233, and is significant as each first folio can contain variations that shed light on Shakespeare’s intentions. Among the 900 pages of the most recent discovery are rare annotations that suggest it was used for performance. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
The newly discovered Shakespeare's original first folio is seen in the Saint-Omer library, northern France, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. The accidental discovery in the small library in northern France of an original first folio of the bard’s plays _ one of the rarest books in the world _ has sent jitters of excitement around the world of Shakespeare enthusiasts, especially those partial to the theory that the bard was a secret Catholic. The find brings the total of known folios in the world to 233, and is significant as each first folio can contain variations that shed light on Shakespeare’s intentions. Among the 900 pages of the most recent discovery are rare annotations that suggest it was used for performance. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
A page of the newly discovered Shakespeare's original first folio is seen in the Saint-Omer library, northern France, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. The accidental discovery in the small library in northern France of an original first folio of the bard’s plays _ one of the rarest books in the world _ has sent jitters of excitement around the world of Shakespeare enthusiasts, especially those partial to the theory that the bard was a secret Catholic. The find brings the total of known folios in the world to 233, and is significant as each first folio can contain variations that shed light on Shakespeare’s intentions. Among the 900 pages of the most recent discovery are rare annotations that suggest it was used for performance. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
The newly discovered Shakespeare's original first folio is seen in the Saint-Omer library, northern France, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. The accidental discovery in the small library in northern France of an original first folio of the bard’s plays _ one of the rarest books in the world _ has sent jitters of excitement around the world of Shakespeare enthusiasts, especially those partial to the theory that the bard was a secret Catholic. The find brings the total of known folios in the world to 233, and is significant as each first folio can contain variations that shed light on Shakespeare’s intentions. Among the 900 pages of the most recent discovery are rare annotations that suggest it was used for performance. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
Antique and rare books including English playwright William Shakespeare's (1564-1616) first folio are lit by candlelight in the library at Longleat stately home, Wiltshire, England, February 1968. (Photo by RDImages/Epics/Getty Images)
Remy Cordonnier, the director of the Saint-Omer library’s medieval and early modern collection, opens a page of the newly discovered Shakespeare's original first folio in Saint-Omer, northern France, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. The accidental discovery in the small library in northern France of an original first folio of the bard’s plays _ one of the rarest books in the world _ has sent jitters of excitement around the world of Shakespeare enthusiasts, especially those partial to the theory that the bard was a secret Catholic. The find brings the total of known folios in the world to 233, and is significant as each first folio can contain variations that shed light on Shakespeare’s intentions. Among the 900 pages of the most recent discovery are rare annotations that suggest it was used for performance. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
The newly discovered Shakespeare's original first folio is seen in the Saint-Omer library, northern France, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. The accidental discovery in the small library in northern France of an original first folio of the bard’s plays _ one of the rarest books in the world _ has sent jitters of excitement around the world of Shakespeare enthusiasts, especially those partial to the theory that the bard was a secret Catholic. The find brings the total of known folios in the world to 233, and is significant as each first folio can contain variations that shed light on Shakespeare’s intentions. Among the 900 pages of the most recent discovery are rare annotations that suggest it was used for performance. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
A page of the newly discovered Shakespeare's original first folio is seen in Saint-Omer, northern France, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. The accidental discovery in the small library in northern France of an original first folio of the bard’s plays _ one of the rarest books in the world _ has sent jitters of excitement around the world of Shakespeare enthusiasts, especially those partial to the theory that the bard was a secret Catholic. The find brings the total of known folios in the world to 233, and is significant as each first folio can contain variations that shed light on Shakespeare’s intentions. Among the 900 pages of the most recent discovery are rare annotations that suggest it was used for performance. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
LONDON - SEPTERMBER 7: The previously unknown 1623 edition of William Shakespeare's First Folio, described as the most important work in the English Language, which will be going under the hammer at Bloomsbury Auction house on October 7, 2004 in London. The book, which is expected to fetch GBP1 million, was inherited by a Mancunian woman from a distant relative and turned out to be one of only six original copies in private hands. (Photo by Graeme Robertson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
LONDON - SEPTERMBER 7: The previously unknown 1623 edition of William Shakespeare's First Folio, described as the most important work in the English Language, which will be going under the hammer at Bloomsbury Auction house on October 7, 2004 in London. The book, which is expected to fetch GBP1 million, was inherited by a Mancunian woman from a distant relative and turned out to be one of only six original copies in private hands. (Photo by Graeme Robertson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
LONDON - SEPTERMBER 7: The previously unknown 1623 edition of William Shakespeare's First Folio, described as the most important work in the English Language, which will be going under the hammer at Bloomsbury Auction house on October 7, 2004 in London. The book, which is expected to fetch GBP1 million, was inherited by a Mancunian woman from a distant relative and turned out to be one of only six original copies in private hands. (Photo by Graeme Robertson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
LONDON - SEPTERMBER 7: The previously unknown 1623 edition of William Shakespeare's First Folio, described as the most important work in the English Language, which will be going under the hammer at Bloomsbury Auction house on October 7, 2004 in London. The book, which is expected to fetch GBP1 million, was inherited by a Mancunian woman from a distant relative and turned out to be one of only six original copies in private hands. (Photo by Graeme Robertson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
LONDON - SEPTERMBER 7: The previously unknown 1623 edition of William Shakespeare's First Folio, described as the most important work in the English Language, which will be going under the hammer at Bloomsbury Auction house on October 7, 2004 in London. The book, which is expected to fetch GBP1 million, was inherited by a Mancunian woman from a distant relative and turned out to be one of only six original copies in private hands. (Photo by Graeme Robertson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
LONDON - SEPTERMBER 7: The previously unknown 1623 edition of William Shakespeare's First Folio, described as the most important work in the English Language, which will be going under the hammer at Bloomsbury Auction house on October 7, 2004 in London. The book, which is expected to fetch GBP1 million, was inherited by a Mancunian woman from a distant relative and turned out to be one of only six original copies in private hands. (Photo by Graeme Robertson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Antique and rare books including English playwright William Shakespeare's (1564-1616) first folio are lit by candlelight in the library at Longleat stately home, Wiltshire, England, February 1968. (Photo by RDImages/Epics/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01: Man reads third folio of Shakespeare's plays in his rare book library, England, Great Britain (Photo by Kathleen Revis/National Geographic/Getty Images)
A rare Shakespeare First Folio is seen in Durham University, England, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011. The folio that was stolen from Durham University more than 12 years ago is due to go on display for the first time since its theft as part of the new Treasures of Durham University exhibition. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Sheila Hingley, Head of Heritage Collections, is seen with a rare Shakespeare First Folio, in Durham University, England, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011. The folio that was stolen from Durham University more than 12 years ago is due to go on display for the first time since its theft as part of the new Treasures of Durham University exhibition. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Sheila Hingley, Head of Heritage Collections, is seen with a rare Shakespeare First Folio, in Durham University, England, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011. The folio that was stolen from Durham University more than 12 years ago is due to go on display for the first time since its theft as part of the new Treasures of Durham University exhibition. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Sheila Hingley, Head of Heritage Collections, holds a rare Shakespeare First Folio, in Durham University, England, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011. The folio that was stolen from Durham University more than 12 years ago is due to go on display for the first time since its theft as part of the new Treasures of Durham University exhibition. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Sheila Hingley, Head of Heritage Collections, is seen with a rare Shakespeare First Folio, in Durham University, England, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011. The folio that was stolen from Durham University more than 12 years ago is due to go on display for the first time since its theft as part of the new Treasures of Durham University exhibition. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Sotheby's employee Sue Austin poses for photographs with a copy of the first collected edition of Shakespeare's plays, the 'First Folio' at the auction house's premises in London, Monday, Dec. 6, 2010. The extremely rare copy dates from 1623 and is estimated to fetch 1 to 1.5 million pounds ($1,567,889 to 2,351,834) in the sale of 'Magnificent Books, Manuscripts and Drawings' on Dec. 7. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Sheila Hingley, Head of Heritage Collections, is seen with a rare Shakespeare First Folio, in Durham University, England, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011. The folio that was stolen from Durham University more than 12 years ago is due to go on display for the first time since its theft as part of the new Treasures of Durham University exhibition. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
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