Getting stoned seems like a uniquely human activity. Nature is pure and unspoiled, if a little clumsy sometimes. We love nature so much we’ll stay indoors for days binge watching Planet Earth.
But as it turns out, we aren’t the only animals that spend our free time getting wasted. Many animals have been caught getting high or drunk—in public, no less! In fact, it’s possible that we first discovered many drugs (such as caffeine) by observing animals.
Before we get started, let’s take a quick moment to remind everyone NOT to give pets (or any animal) drugs or alcohol unless prescribed by a veterinarian or another qualified professional.
Besides, as we’ll see, animals don’t need our help getting high.
Elephants Have Elefun
Elephants have been seen stumbling about after feasting on fermenting fruit from the Marula tree, according to an article from Australian Geographic. Studies have suggested the fermenting fruit itself wouldn’t be enough to get the elephant drunk, but there could be another intoxicant in play. This wouldn’t be surprising, given documented incidents of rampaging elephants stealing beer from human settlements.
Now We Know How Reindeer Fly So High
Its possible reindeer are Santa’s steed of choice on account of their love of getting high. These cold-weathered Christmas chums chomp on hallucinogenic mushrooms that would be toxic for a human. Of course, not to be outdone by reindeer, humans starting feeding the fungi to their four-legged friends and drinking their urine.
Horses Get Loco on Locoweed
Spotted locoweed is a legume that gets horses hooked. It’s been equated to nicotine in that it’s addictive and does serious harm over time. As such, ranchers tend to keep an eye out for the legume, especially in winter when it may be one of the only green plants in the pasture. Horses that turn to locoweed for nutrition over extended periods can display signs of depression, weight loss, and unstable behavior.
Bighorn Sheep are Big on Narcotic Lichen
Narcotic lichen is a slow-growing yellow-green lichen that appear in the less hospitable, harder to reach regions of the Rockies. It isn’t a nutritious treat, but some sheep have been seen rubbing their teeth down to the gum line to get every last morsel, according to an article in Cracked.
The Boisterous Buzz of the Blitzed Bee
Bumble bees are known for their drone-like work ethic and cone-like fuzzle-butts. But, apparently they have a penchant for getting nice and pasted, to the point that they’ll have in-flight accidents. Bee bouncers are even stationed outside the hive to keep out the drunks.
Monkeys Getting Funky
Monkeys have always been close to our hearts. They just seem so human sometimes. So, you may not be surprised that monkeys and lemurs have found a way to get high on passing insects. Some millipedes shoot out a poison that capuchin monkeys rub on their skin to ward off parasites and get a little buzzed.
Cats & Catnip
If you own a cat or know someone who owns a cat, chances are your familiar with catnip and its effect on our tiny domesticated murder floofs. Cats rub against or chew on catnip to release an oil that triggers special sense receptors that bring on a sort of cat euphoria. Cats can get sick if they have too much catnip, but they won’t otherwise overdose.
Caterpillars & Cocaine
You’re probably wondering how anything as awesome-sounding as “Caterpillars & Cocaine” doesn’t make this list and every other list not explicitly prohibiting references to caterpillars and/or cocaine. While the larvae of one species of South American moth feeds exclusively on the coca plant, they’re resistant to the effects we associate with cocaine, so they’re not really getting high, are they?
There you have it! Our quick list of animals that get high or drunk like people. Humanity has turned getting toasted into a work of art. But, as with so many things, nature came to play, too.
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