by Luke Miller,
From pufferfish snorting dolphins to Jaguars on Ayahuasca- meet 4 animals that love to get high
Turns humans are not the only earthly creatures seeking a high. Magic mushrooms, the Ayahuasca vine (Yage) and… pufferfish, are all drugs animals take for the high it induces.
Mushrooms Munching Reindeer
Maybe this was the influence for Christmas. Think about it, reindeer flying through the sky while a single man delivers presents built by elves to the whole planet in a single night. Sounds like a mushroom trip to me! In Eastern Europe, it has been observed that reindeer forage for the Amanita muscaria mushroom. The hallucinogenic and highly toxic mushroom is known to induce altered states of consciousness. The mushrooms which are featured in Super Mario Bros, Alice In Wonderland and the 1940 Disney film Fantasia, are considered poisonous for humans, so to prevent the side effects Siberian Shaman have been known to feed them to reindeer and drink their urine.
Dolphins Getting High On Puffer Fish
Dolphins have been observed getting high on a chemical released by puffer fish. The footage below was taken for BBC docuseries, “Spy in the Pod.” The film shows dolphins passing around a pufferfish between each other before entering a trance-like state. Pufferfish release a defensive chemical when threatened, which in small doses causes a narcotic effect in dolphins.
Drunken Monkeys Of St Kitts
On the Caribbean island of St Kitts, Vervet monkeys are known to have a problem with alcohol consumption. The monkeys were brought to St Kitts from West Africa by those in the rum industry. The habit stuck and they now scavenge cocktails on the beach from unsuspecting tourists. Interestingly studies found their behavior closely mimics that of humans. Most of the monkeys drink in moderation, but close to 12% drink heavily, with 5% drinking excessively. There is also a small group that does not drink at all.
Jaguars On Banisteriopsis Caapi
The resident Jaguars in the Amazon rainforest are known to chew on the bark of the hallucinogenic vine Banisteriopsis Caapi. After consumption, the large cats become playful in the same way cats do if they have catnip. Shaman from the Amazonian rainforest combines the vine with other plants to create the hallucinogenic brew Ayahuasca.
Image credit: 123rf