We knew that dolphins, the hippies of the sea, couldn’t be trusted to be good citizens of the ocean. A recent BBC documentary used specially designed underwater cameras disguised as sea life to spy on pods of dolphins and what they found was shocking; Dolphins like to get high by chewing pufferfish!
At least one pod of dolphin was seen cavorting with a shady pufferfish, taking turns “chewing” on its tail, getting a dose of puffer, and passing it to the next delinquent bottlenose before falling into a trance-like state. Also known as Fugu, dolphin crack, saltwater smack and lots of other street names, pufferfish contains one of the most powerful toxins known to man (and dolphins), tetrodotoxin. Humans have been overdosing on Fugu, the prepared form of pufferfish which gets you high (or dead) when you eat it, for hundreds of years.
We don’t advocate drug us, in humans or in dolphins, but our good friend Ariel Zvaifler of BlueLife USA is something of a specialist in the properly prepared pufferfish department. Ariel tells us that “eating barbecued-smoked Fugu has a numbing sensation that makes your mouth and lips tingle. If you have enough of it, your whole body can become comfortably numb”.
The discovery that dolphins get high on pufferfish is a quite the surprise, which for better of for worse, indicates that we have far more in common with the streamlined sea mammals than we ever imagined. The pufferfish-chewing dolphins are featured in the new BBC documentary Dolphins: Spy in the Pod. [Raw Story]