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Dolphins get high on puffer fish meat: Documentary says animals enter 'trance'

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Are dolphins getting high on puffer fish meat? While experts assert that it’s unlikely these intelligent animals are intentionally attempting to get stoned in chasing after these poisonous sea creatures, a new documentary says that dolphins do enter a stoned-like “trance” state after eating the fish. ABC News shares the details on this strange story that’s quickly gone viral across the Internet this Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014.

The documentary, “Dolphins: Spy in the Pod,” reveals that dolphins will sometimes snack on the toxic puffer fish, an aquatic animal that some people may know can be deadly to us humans due. It seems that ingesting them might actually cause the dolphins to get high, making all the more buzz this week of the New Year after the lines begin in Colorado as people begin buying legalized marijuana.

"[They were] hanging around with their noses at the surface as if fascinated by their own reflection," John Downer, executive producer of the documentary, told in a statement to the International Business Times. "It reminded us of that craze a few years ago when people started licking toads to get a buzz."

Downing and his undersea crew decided to cover their cameras to make them look like regular ocean animals in order to arouse the curiosity of the dolphins and see what they might do in their natural habitat. The recordings, claims the production company, were quite shocking, especially those pertaining to dolphins apparently searching after puffer fish in order to get stoned.

"These novel devices tweaked the curiosity of the dolphin pods, encouraging the dolphins to let them into their lives, allowing them to capture behavior that has never been seen before," cites the production company's website.

However, at least one expert believes that while the dolphins may experience a temporary “high” from eating puffer fish meat, it’s not very probable that they are chasing after these toxic fish for that reason.

"The puffer fish's tetrodotoxin shuts down nerve cells, but it doesn't cross the blood brain barrier," said the source to ABC News. "It's not like recreational drugs that have some effect on the brain, so I find it hard to believe that it would be pleasurable."

After all, if dolphins really desired to enter that trance-like feeling, a sea bream would be much more practical.

"In many areas of the world, sea bream are known to produce vivid visual and auditory hallucinations, much like tripping on acid," she said. "And of course, people have used them recreationally."



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