It's potent enough to make users believe they can fly, or swim the most treacherous of waters. It's the little known drug with extremely big consequences - and while you've probably never heard of it, it's poisoning minds and destroying lives in a city near you.

When Australian backpacker Rye Hunt mistakenly ingested 25C-NBOMe inside a Rio de Janeiro club last month, he couldn't predict he would never make it back home.

No one quite knows exactly what happened to the Tasmanian tourist on the night of May 22, when he is alleged to have mistakenly consumed the "highly potent hallucinogen and psychedelic", instead of MDMA.

But it was this drug that would be Mr Hunt's downfall. More than two weeks after he was last seen, his body washed ashore on a beach in Marica, just outside Rio. It is alleged Mr Hunt inhaled NBOMe before undergoing a psychotic episode and swimming almost a kilometre to an uninhabited island off the coast of Rio, Cotonduba.

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It was this behaviour that puzzled Rye's family. In a statement they claimed "Rye works in the mining industry which requires tests for illegal substances" and was a test "Rye has never failed", but before his disappearance, witnesses claimed Mr Hunt was acting irrationally and was extremely paranoid, anxious and scared.

"They were under effect of a kind of drug. They started to see things and they thought everyone there was staring at them, that everyone there wanted to kill them," Bruno Mouta, owner of club Raizes da Lapa, where Mr Hunt and his travelling companion, Mitchell Sheppard, allegedly ingested the drug, recalled.

"They were really terrified, especially the one who is missing."

Mr Hunt went missing after he separated from Mr Sheppard the day after they ingested the drug, following an argument where Mr Sheppard reported his friend was "freaking out and thought I was after him and trying to kill him".

And yet despite his family describing illicit drug use was "out of character for Rye", he's not alone. The drug, nicknamed "N-Bomb", has been popping up in the hands of partygoers across Australia - and beyond.

NBOMe has been described as a
NBOMe has been described as a "highly potent hallucinogen and psychedelic".