Dolphins Found Deliberately Getting High on Puffer Fish Toxins

We all know humans enjoy consuming substances that produce mind-altering effects, whether that comes from marijuana, alcohol, mushrooms or caffeine. But it turns out humans aren't the only ones in the animal kingdom that like getting high. Dolphins like getting stoned too.

The makers of a documentary called "Dolphins: Spy in the Pod" found that the animals enjoyed getting themselves high off toxins produced by puffer fish. As a defensive mechanism, puffer fish release a toxin when threatened by other animals. In high doses, this can be deadly. But at lower doses, the toxin produces a mind-altering effect similar to getting high. 

In the documentary, dolphins can be seen grabbing puffer fish in order to get them to release the neurotoxin. Once they do so, a group of them will swim around the toxin to get a taste of the effects. It's basically the dolphin equivalent of passing around a bong:

One of the producers in the film noted, "After chewing the puffer gently and passing it round, they began acting most peculiarly, hanging around with their noses at the surface as if fascinated by their own reflection."

So these dolphins were so high, they couldn't stop looking at their own reflection. If that doesn't make dolphins the coolest animal, I don't know what will.

(h/t TechDisease)


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