I used to think dolphins were cool, until I saw a BBC documentary on Netflix called ‘Spy in the Pod‘ which featured dolphins who partied and got high on recreational drugs. Now I think they’re down right awesome!
You may be thinking at this point that this is a joke. You would be wrong.
“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.
The Pufferfish (or puffer) releases a powerful and deadly neurotoxin called Tetrodotoxin to ward off predators. (This neurotoxin is stronger than cyanide so don’t try this at home.) The dolphins agitate the puffer and gently pass it around to the members of their group and apparently enjoy a blissful high.
There is some skepticism that the dolphins habitually do this. This is a relatively new discovery and the first time that it was ever caught on film. I couldn’t say for sure, but by the mannerism in which the dolphins pass the puffer, and their behavior in the process of invoking the secretion of the neurotoxin, I believe it is at least possible that it’s intentional.
Dolphins are intelligent so they may know how much of the neurotoxin to consume in order to not be killed by it but also enjoy a high from it.
Watch this short clip below and decide for yourself. 🙂