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Dolphins use blowfish to get high!

Have you ever heard that dolphins deliberately use blowfish to put themselves into a state of intoxication? These friendly mammals, like humans and several other species, seem to have their weaknesses and addictions that they like to indulge in. Humans are not an isolated case. Other creatures can also fall into addictions. Horses eat hallucinogenic
Published: February 16, 2019 - 19:57
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 17:53
Dolphins use blowfish to get high!

Have you ever heard that dolphins deliberately use blowfish to put themselves into a state of intoxication? These friendly mammals, like humans and several other species, seem to have their weaknesses and addictions that they like to indulge in.

Humans are not an isolated case. Other creatures can also fall into addictions. Horses eat hallucinogenic weeds, elephants get drunk eating overripe fruit, and bighorn sheep like lichens with narcotic properties. Interestingly, some researchers believe that monkeys’ attraction to sugar-rich fruits containing ethanol may also explain our own weakness for alcohol.

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Dolphins are also on this list. Footage from the BBC documentary series ‘Spy in the Pod’ revealed that dolphins put themselves into a state of intoxication through contact with representatives of blowfish. These distinctive fish produce a potent toxin which they release when threatened. However, in small doses, the toxin appears to induce a trance-like state in dolphins.

This practice was first filmed in 2013, when dolphins gently rubbed against a blowfish, moving it between them for 20 to 30 minutes! This is behaviour that stands in complete contrast to when they capture species that are their food. Captured prey is simply devoured in the blink of an eye.

At one point in the recorded footage, dolphins are seen hovering just below the surface of the water, apparently mesmerised by their own reflections. The researchers believe that the way the dolphins handle the ‘terrorised’ blowfish suggests that this is not new to them.

However, it seems that these highly intelligent creatures, like humans, have their weaknesses and addictions that they like to indulge in.

Source: smithsonianmag.com

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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