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Flipper's Bad Habit: How Dolphins and Other Animals Get High

Dolphins filmed getting high on pufferfish toxins in new BBC show
A pod of dolphins
LdF/Getty

updated 01/04/2014 at 02:00 PM EST

originally published 12/30/2013 02:00PM

BBC discovered an underwater life of vice while filming its new TV series Dolphins: Spy in the Pod. Using a fake sea turtle equipped with a camera, the crew was able to get unprecedented access to dolphin pods and their behaviors.

The bizarre footage, which will air in 2014, shows a group of dolphins nudging and chewing on a pufferfish, causing the fish to release its defensive toxins. The mammals then pass the fish around, take in the toxins and appear to go into a trance-like state.

Dolphins aren't the first animal to chase a high. Find out what other creatures should make a resolution to kick their drug habit and stay clean in 2014.

1. Jaguars



Big kitties have their own version of catnip. Jaguars munch on the roots of a South American vine known as Banisteriopsis Caapi or Yajé. The hallucinogenic root causes the animal to become more playful, and may also heighten a jaguar's senses for hunting.



2. Wallabies

Flipper's Bad Habit: How Dolphins and Other Animals Get High| Animals & Pets, Zoo Animals

Wallaby

Raj Kamal / Getty

An outbreak of crop circles in Tasmania's poppy fields turned out to be the work of wallabies. According to NBC, the marsupials were sneaking into the fields to gobble up the opium-rich flowers. In response to the resulting high, the animals jumped in circles leaving behind the strange marks.

3. Goats

Flipper's Bad Habit: How Dolphins and Other Animals Get High| Animals & Pets, Zoo Animals

Mountain goat

James Hager / Getty

Caffeine addiction isn't just a human habit. Goats are often observed eating coffee beans to get an extra jolt of energy. The National Coffee Association says it was after watching this behavior that an Ethiopian goat-herder first decided to use the plant for human consumption.

4. Lemurs



Black lemurs have found their own bug repellent. The animals rub the defensive chemicals of millipedes on their coats to keep mosquitos away. The alternative insect spray also has the perk of providing lemurs with a blissful sensation.

5. Elephants

Flipper's Bad Habit: How Dolphins and Other Animals Get High| Animals & Pets, Zoo Animals

Herd of elephants

Sergio Pitamitz / Getty

Researchers have reported seeing elephants and other animals seek out the hallucinogenic iboga plant, according to Boing Boing. Because elephants are known for their memory and social groups, experts believe that young elephants learn to ingest iboga by watching their elders.

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