7 Species That Get High More Than We Do


Almost everyone loves drugs. Whether it's a cigarette break after a high-powered business meeting, a cold beer after a hot day on the job or a half-ounce of heroin injected directly into the scrotum to ease the stress of writing Internet comedy, people love their intoxicants.

But that's not a human invention. Experts have found that animals also seek out a quick chemical high from plants, bugs and, well, wherever they can find it. Here are seven animals that love the magic of intoxication even more than we do.

Elephants Are Angry Drunks

Drug of Choice:

Liquor and opiates.

Throughout history, elephants have been worshiped as gods, lauded for their wisdom and memory, and made into mascots for the Republican Party. Like people, elephants are very complex, social animals. This means they exhibit a lot of humanlike behavior. They nurture their young, mourn their dead and love to get absolutely fucked up.


In October of 2007, six young elephants charged into an Indian village, broke into their beer supply, got drunk, uprooted an electrical pole and died horribly. In 2002, another squadron of alcoholic elephants rampaged through a different village, killing six people.

No, we're not making that up. We have video. Below is the elephant equivalent of a raging kegger, complete with dry-humping at 1:12.

How Common Is It?

Alcoholism in elephants is an increasing problem in India and Africa. Being, generally, clever as fuck, it hasn't taken elephants long to realize that--because of increasing occurrences of interaction with us--where there are people, there's liquor.

We at Cracked don't want to be accused of inciting a panic, but our sources suggest that these raids aren't isolated events. It's only a matter of time before the elephantine hordes descend upon mankind like a plague of tusked, four-ton locusts with a penchant for rice wine and forced sexual congress.

Horses Love the Locoweed

Drug of Choice:

Spotted locoweed, a type of legume that acts as a mind-altering drug.

Apparently locoweed is to horses what nicotine is to people: an extremely addictive drug that kills them slowly over the course of several years. During the lean winter months, locoweed is the only green plant available in some pastures. Horses first seek it out for its nutritious goodness, but keep coming back for its psychoactive effects.

Long-term users exhibit signs of depression, weight loss and behavioral instability.

But it does make them look cool.

How Common Is It?

Because it is so dangerous to herds, ranchers are constantly on guard for signs of locoweed use. But, like marijuana, locoweed grows everywhere and is virtually impossible to fully eradicate. Educational literature distributed to warn horses of the dangers of locoweed has, so far, been ineffective.

They just don't listen.

Bighorn Sheep Suck Rocks for Lichen

Drug of Choice:

Narcotic lichen.

In the vast wilderness of the Canadian Rockies lives a unique species of yellow-green lichen that will fuck you right up.

The lichen are extremely rare (it can take decades for them to grow over a single rock) and only grow in very inhospitable regions of the Rockies. Despite the fact that it is dangerous to get at and contains no nutritional value, the sheep will risk life and limb to get some.

Once they reach the lichen, they will rub their teeth down to the gum line to scrape off every last bit of it. Experts describe the disturbing scene as, "... like the earth itself was a dealer, forcing the sheep to suck its dick for the next hit." The Cracked staff qualifies as experts, right?

How Common Is It?

Not very. Narcotic lichen is rare and only grows in some desolate parts of the Rockies. Barring the creation of some sort of sheep-based drug cartel, addiction rates should remain low.

Reindeer Love 'Shrooms

Drug of Choice:

Amanita muscaria mushrooms.

Let's talk about urine for a moment.

The body does not actually metabolize psychedelic mushrooms, so most of the psychoactive compounds get washed out with the user's pee. If you collect that urine and drink it, you will trip almost as hard as if you'd eaten the mushrooms yourself. Many native Alaskan tribes stretch out their supply of mushrooms this way. The priests eat the 'shrooms and the followers drink their urine.

"There's probably a better, less urine-themed way to get high..."

How does this tie into reindeer? Like most wild herbivores, reindeer have a very firm constitution that allows them to eat all manner of nasty plants and fungi without getting sick. Many strains of hallucinogenic mushrooms are toxic to human beings, but not toxic to reindeer. Native shamans noticed this when they observed the deer seeking out poisonous mushrooms, eating them and then capering about like characters in a Disney cartoon.

One of those really trippy, uncomfortable Disney cartoons.

Being the practical sort of fellows that primitive shamans were, the priests started collecting reindeer urine and drinking it to get high. But the piss train didn't stop there. The reindeer discovered that they could get the same high off of human urine. Thus was born...


1. Reindeer eat mushrooms and pee.

2. Humans collect the pee and get high.

3. Humans pee, and reindeer drink their own people-filtered-urine to get high again.

4. The reindeer pee, and the circle begins anew.

How Common Is It?

Sadly, the glorious human/reindeer urine exchange is less common today than it once was. Experts speculate this may be due to the decline in mystical shamans and the invention of drugs that can get you high without forcing you to drink reindeer piss.

Somehow it just never caught on.

The deer, however, still love to get fucked up on poisonous mushrooms.

Bees! Drunken Bees! Shit!

Drug of Choice:

Satan's Bathwater (alcohol).

As it turns out, the bee, nature's communist labor drone, is also another one of nature's alcoholics. Since they have a similar nervous system to humans, scientists love to provide captive colonies with alcohol to test the effects of intoxication. What? You have trouble finding human volunteers for that?

Scientists have noted that drunk bees are less likely to fly, less likely to engage in social behavior and prone to random fits of violence. Some bees get so blitzed that they lose the ability to do anything but lay on their back and kick their fuzzy legs feebly in the air.

The saddest thing you'll see all day.

How Common Is It?

Bees seem drawn to fermented substances for their intoxicating properties, but strict social pressure keeps most of them from descending into alcoholism. To keep production up, queen bees station bouncers outside the hive with strict orders to keep the drunks out.

But while prohibition is popular in the bee world, compassion and rehabilitation are not. Chronic alcoholics indulge their vice at the cost of their own legs. Warning: This video is kind of terrifying.

We bet THAT drone will think again the next time he decides to get buzzed. GET IT?!

Jaguars and Their Hallucinogenic Version of Catnip

Drug of Choice:

Banisteriopsis caapi, a root found in the jungles of South America.

Yes, like their catnip-loving little cousins, Jaguars love to get high. Their choice in intoxicants, however, is considerably more badass. Wild cats looking for a high will seek out the roots of the caapi plant and gnaw on them until they start to hallucinate. It looks even cuter than it sounds.

Caapi root contains a variety of powerful MAOIs (chemicals like you find in antidepressants), which heightens the animal's senses as well as causing them to trip balls.

In fact, some scientists believe that humans learned how to use the root by observing the jaguars getting high off of it. We wonder what that conversation must have gone like.

Tribesman 1: "Hey, that big toothy monster sure seems to like that weird looking plant."

Tribesman 2: "Oh, man, he is fucked up."

Tribesman 3: "Man, if that 250-pound animal gets that trashed on the stuff... "

Tribesman 1: "Let's go!"

How Common Is It?

Very. The plant heightens their senses so they may sense the benefit. Or maybe the just like to get high as a kite. Either way, there are plenty of jaguar junkies slinking around the rainforest.

Capuchin Monkeys and . . . Hallucinogenic Millipedes?

Drug of Choice:

Yes, hallucinogenic millipedes.

Hey man, want a hit off this?

Yes, both capuchin monkeys in South America and lemurs in Madagascar have learned how to get high off of passing insects. Apparently, several species of millipedes squirt out a poisonous compound when agitated. By covering themselves with the poison, lemurs and monkeys are able to ward off parasitic insects and get a delightful narcotic buzz.

Unfortunately, millipede venom is also filled with cyanide, which is deadly to pretty much everything. Of course the risk of agonizing death has never stopped anyone from getting high, so the capuchins (one of mankind's closest relatives) gather in huge groups and swap hits of 'pede. It's like a frat party, but with slightly more flinging of feces.

How Common Is It?

All the capuchins do it. Well, all the cool ones, anyway.

You can find more from Robert at thedeadbeat.org.

For some good old fashioned human drug use, check out The 5 Greatest Things Ever Accomplished While High. Or find out about the goldmine that geeks have been sitting on for years, in 5 Real Ways to Get High Straight Out of Science Fiction.

And try some Top Picks, because they will, like, totally fuck you up, bro.

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