Cephalopods and Octopus in particular are very intelligent creatures but anatomically speaking, they are very different from humans, and all vertebrates for that matter. This led some ‘scientists’ to wonder what would happen if these creatures were exposed to MDMA, also known as Molly or Ecstasy.
The illegal drug MDMA is popular for its socializing effects and for inducing extreme extroverted behavior in people. This persuaded researchers to wonder how the very different anatomy of Octopus would be affected by it, and whether it would change the normally antisocial behavior of these cephalopods.
The eight-legged guinea pigs were kept in a bath with a solution of ecstasy and then observed to see how they would behave towards of their kind. The cephalopod test subjects were then given the choice of moving towards another octopus, towards a toy, or towards an empty space. Wouldn’t you know it, the rolling octopus actually spent more time with the other octopus than test animals which hadn’t been dosed with MDMA.
While we don’t believe that there’s enough MDMA in ocean waters to change their behaviors but it would be super interesting if a link could be made between the behavior of ecstatic octopi and the communities and octopus cities documented around Austalian waters. We can’t help but wonder who had the crazy idea of giving party drugs to marine invertebrates, or how this research was approved, but at least now we know the effects of MDMA on our spineless overlords. [Gizmodo]