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Dolphins Get High Playing Catch With A Pufferfish

dolphin and pufferfish
Collage by Animals Around The Globe

One remarkable discovery is the intriguing behavior of bottlenose dolphins indulging in an unusual recreation – getting high by playing catch with a pufferfish. The ocean’s mysteries continue to astound me! 

In this article, I will delve into this fascinating underwater phenomenon. Thus exploring what makes pufferfish so intoxicating to dolphins and how they enjoy their time together without harm.

Read to the end to watch the video!

Dolphins on a Unique High

Dolphins Get High Pufferfish
Screenshot via Dolphins purposely ‘getting high’ on pufferfish – Dolphins – Spy in the Pod: Episode 2, Source: Youtube, Uploaded: BBC

Imagine a group of dolphins passing around a pufferfish, not for a meal, but for hits of tetrodotoxin – a potent neurotoxin secreted by these curious underwater creatures. This video captures a truly astonishing sight as these intelligent mammals engage in what appears to be recreational drug use, a behavior never before witnessed in the world of dolphins.

Tetrodotoxin: The Key to the High

Image via depositohotos

The secret behind this aquatic escapade lies in tetrodotoxin, a neurotoxin that, in high doses, can prove fatal to humans and dolphins if ingested. However, pufferfish release this toxin only when threatened. In the case of dolphins, they seem to have mastered the art of microdosing. Instead of swallowing the pufferfish, they cradle them at the tip of their mouths, akin to how humans handle a joint. This delicate balance ensures they enjoy the narcotic effects without risking their lives.

Dolphins’ Blissful Reactions

Marine wildlife background – three bottlenose dolphins jumping over sea waves. Image via Depositphotos

Watch as the video shows us these dolphins’ happy reactions after consuming the pufferfish. Their movements change as they enter a state of pure euphoria. The dolphins huddle together, as if enthralled by the experience, much like people enjoying a moment of connection while intoxicated.

A close-up reveals a comically blissed-out dolphin. Its face painting a picture of sheer contentment. The pufferfish continues to float at the surface, serving as the source of their unconventional high. Each turn they take with the pufferfish elevates their euphoria, and they become increasingly lost in their altered state.

A Pioneering Observation

bottlenose dolphin
Bottlenose dolphins swimming together. Image by Kammeran Gonzalezkeola via Unsplash

For the first time ever, dolphins using drugs recreationally is captured on camera in this historic video. Their actions are similar to those of people who are under the influence of drugs; they exhibit heightened camaraderie along with a hint of confusion and daze. Through this unexpected recreation, the dolphins seem to have an unspoken understanding with one another, forging a special bond.

The Pufferfish’s Escape

Image via depositphotos

As the pufferfish fulfills its unintentional role in this underwater party, it eventually deflates. Unharmed and still blissed out, the dolphins watch as the pufferfish swims away, almost like a discreet drug dealer leaving the scene of the festivities untouched.

Wrapping Up with Dolphins Get High Playing Catch With A Pufferfish

YouTube video
Dolphins purposely ‘getting high’ on pufferfish – Dolphins – Spy in the Pod: Episode 2, Source: Youtube, Uploaded: BBC

Finally we can all agree – the ocean holds endless surprises. This recent discovery of dolphins getting high by playing with pufferfish adds another layer to the awe of marine life. Evidently this intriguing behavior depicts the resourcefulness of these intelligent creatures. 

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