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Puffer, Puffer, Give: Dolphins Get High!

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Slade Sohmer

By Slade Sohmer
December 30, 2013 at 9:17 am



Pass the coral reefer: A new documentary about dolphins outs the marine mammals as drug-addled trance-seekers who like to get high.

According to The Sunday Times:

The marine mammals, renowned for their intelligence, have been caught on camera chewing on puffer fish that protect themselves by releasing a nerve toxin which, in low doses, appears to have a narcotic effect on the dolphins.

Using remote-controlled cameras disguised as sea creatures, the makers of Dolphins: Spy in the Pod, a forthcoming documentary, watched as the male bottlenose dolphins entered a trance-like state after apparently getting “high” on the toxin.

Careful, fins: Pufferfish is a gateway drug to ecsta-sea. (Boooooo.)

The footage of these dope-fiend dolphins comes from an upcoming BBC1 show called Dolphins: Spy in the Pod, shot by wildlife filmmaker John Downer.

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Much like Rob Ford, series producer Rob Pilley said this was the first time dolphins had been caught on camera doing drugs this way.

He added: ‘We saw the dolphins handle the puffers with kid gloves, very gently and delicately like they were almost milking them to not upset the fish too much or kill it.

‘As a result the fish released various toxins as a defence.

‘The dolphins then seemed to be mesmerised.’

He insisted that the scene couldn’t have been a one-off encounter, saying: ‘The dolphins were specifically going for the puffers and deliberately handling them with care.’

Here’s the trailer for the upcoming BBC1 series.

Banner photo via BBC/John Downer Productions

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