Teenage Dolphins Are Chewing on Puffer Fish to Get Hiiiiiiiiigh

Illustration for article titled Teenage Dolphins Are Chewing on Puffer Fish to Get Hiiiiiiiiigh

In case you needed any more evidence that dolphins are Just Like Us™, scientists have now observed them deliberately altering their mental states by chewing on toxic puffer fish. Dolphins are GETTING WASTED, you guys.

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Even better, they totally pass the fish around like a joint and it is adorable.

Via RawStory:

Scientists found that dolphins apparently had learned just how much of the toxin would safely intoxicate them, and they carefully chewed the fish and then passed it among themselves.

The dolphins then entered what appeared to be atrancelike state.

"This was a case of young dolphins purposely experimenting with something we know to be intoxicating," said Rob Pilley, a zoologist who worked as a producer for the series. "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."

I challenge you, starting now, to look at ANY picture of a dolphin and not see a stoned teenager. "Maaaaaaan, you know why these sardines are so good, right? It's because they were made by food scientists!"

Image via Getty.

DISCUSSION

szielins
Stephan Zielinski

Tetrodotoxin doesn't alter your mental state. It just kills you.

Christie Wilcox - Do Stoned Dolphins Give ‘Puff Puff Pass’ A Whole New Meaning?

Tetrodotoxin simply doesn’t make sense as a drug (and let’s be honest—if it did, humans would be snorting it off bathroom counters already). In very, very, very low doses, tetrodotoxin causes numbness, tingling, and the slight lightheadedness that fugu, the Japanese preparation of raw pufferfish flesh, is known for. I guess it’s possible to see how one might relate these mild effects to the “high” feeling that comes from THC, the main ingredient in marijuana*, but it’s a stretch to say the least. Every illicit drug has one thing in common: they alter minds. It’s right there in the definition of narcotic. Tetrodotoxin, however, doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier; it doesn’t change perception or enhance sensation. People get poisoned with TTX every year, and there’s a reason you don’t hear anyone describing the experience as a ‘high’: that’s not how tetrodotoxin works.