Do Stoned Dolphins Give ‘Puff Puff Pass’ A Whole New Meaning? – Discover Magazine


The BBC will be airing a cool new underwater documentary on Thursday called Dolphins: Spy in the Pod, where carefully disguised cameras were used to film the daily lives of everyone’s favorite marine mammals. But the most interesting detail seems to have been leaked on Sunday: during the documentary, some of the dolphins reportedly used a pufferfish to get stoned.

“Even the brightest humans have succumbed to the lure of drugs and, it seems, dolphins are no different,” said The Sunday Times. The article goes on to describe how the team got footage of dolphins gently harassing a pufferfish, which led to the dolphins entering “a trance-like state after apparently getting “high” on the toxin.”

“After chewing the puffer and gently passing it round, they began acting most peculiarly, hanging around with their noses at the surface as if fascinated by their own reflection,” said Rob Pilley, zoologist and one of the producers of the documentary. “This was a case of young dolphins purposefully experimenting with something we know to be intoxicating.” And so it would seem that we can add drug use to the long list of dolphin bad behaviors, (a list which includes bullying, rape and murder, for the record; illicit drug use seems a minor offense in comparison).

It sounds too awesome to be true—which means it probably is. 

Written By: Christie Wilcox
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  1. Maybe there are sea plants that are equal to ‘drug plants’ on land……animals medicate themselves on natural ‘drug plants’ too….Why would dolphins be any different…

  2. In reply to #4 by bluebird:

    could someone please pass a joint to the dolphin

    Move to Colorado Jan 1., @ 4:20.

    You can already legally share a fatty in Washington State – and we have happy porpoises here, too!

  3. In reply to #6 by Sue Blue:

    You can already legally share a fatty in Washington State

    D’oh, forgot about WA. ‘Cheech & Chong Visit Space Needle’ –

  4. In reply to #1 by obzen:

    “So long, and thanks for all the fish”.

    “So long, and thanks for all the dope!”


    EDIT: Reading farther, it seems the author doubts the puffer-fish-as-drug hypothesis. Who knows? It may have different effects on dolphins, and the TTX is surely diluted by sea water.

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