6 Animals That Can Get You High
Most human beings are inexplicably drawn to at least some measure of mind-altering substances, from your grandmother sipping her soothingly-caffeinated tea to the dude in Under Armour sweatpants puking out rivers of beer in front of your apartment building at seven o'clock on a Sunday morning.
However, only the few, the visionaries, look at passing wildlife and think, "Hey, I wonder if that creature can get me wasted? Let's lick it and find out."
The sad part? Those guys are often rewarded for their efforts, by animals like...
The Arabic-speaking Humr people of Sudan are strictly forbidden to partake in any plant-based intoxicant such as alcohol or cannabis, which is a bizarrely specific restriction reminiscent of the Transportation Security Administration's express identification of nunchucks as a prohibited item on airplanes. However, as long as only plant-based toxins are forbidden, we're seeing a loophole big enough for B.J. McKay to drive through.
You can't see it, but Bear has nunchucks.
Umm Nyolokh is a made from the liver and bone marrow of giraffes, a compound believed to contain traces of DMT and other psychoactive components. The primary effect of Umm Nyolokh is the hallucinations it reportedly causes, which stupendously are hallucinations of giraffes. As whimsical as this sounds, seeing the animal that you just killed to get high sounds like it could make for some pretty terrifying trips.
"REMEMBER ME, ASSHOLE?"
Among the Humr people, the purpose of taking Umm Nyolokh is that the visions supposedly reveal the location of more giraffes that can be hunted. At first glance this seems like a very vision-quest type thing to do; a spiritual extension of a people living harmoniously with nature. But like the 80s drug PSA starring the stock broker who "does more coke, so he can make more money, so he can buy more coke," the tribesman probably take that extra hit of Umm Nylokh so they can locate more giraffes, so they can make more Umm Nyolokh, so they can locate more giraffes. It's a vicious cycle, and one that we'd imagine has to make for some much more confused hunting and gathering.
"Shit, are you the giraffe I just killed and made drugs from, or the giraffe I'm about to kill and make drugs from?"
It's really no more harmonious than taking your stereo to Cash Converters so you can buy a couple grams of heroin, though admittedly less African wildlife is involved.
For those who missed a few classes of third grade Biology, salamanders are those amphibians that look like lizards as part of a desperate natural ploy to stop getting thrown out of reptilian country clubs. Salamanders also have the charming characteristic of oozing mucous from pores in their skin, protecting them from drying out in the air and providing lubrication while in the water.
Geraldo shares this trait.
In many species this doubles as a defense mechanism, as the mucous is both highly toxic and completely fucking disgusting.
You're right with us if you're thinking right now you'd rather keep these things as far away from your mouth as possible. However, a Slovenian folk recipe for salamander brandy calls for throwing live salamanders into a fermenting pot of fruit.
The salamander, in an attempt not to absorb ethanol into its sensitive skin, will exude the toxic mucous until its ooze-glands are spent and it dies, because the one thing missing from our fruit bowl is a rotting dead amphibian.
"Wow... that's a lot of blood."
The resulting salamander brandy has euphoric, hallucinogenic and aphrodisiac effects to the point that it is said that after drinking it, users may suddenly develop spontaneous new fetishes--which could be for anything at all--and then act them out on something completely different in their boner-driven salamander juice confusion.
So, the evening of a typical salamander brandy drinker may progress from pizza and TV, to cracking open a salamander brandy, to developing the insatiable urge to peniscerate a dishwasher, to mistaking a cat for a dishwasher, to mistaking Tom Sizemore for a cat, to having sex with Tom Sizemore.
The cobra, or naja, family of snakes are renowned for deadliness and are one of the only non-Australian species to regularly show up on "deadliest snake" lists. And for good reason; the venom of the cobra contains several separate active components, including a powerful neurotoxin and a compound that attacks the respiratory system. Essentially, a cobra bite will suffocate you and rape your brain. Obviously it was just a matter of time until someone tried to do some on purpose, to get high.
Some of the proteins in cobra venom effectively block acetylcholine receptors in the brain, producing a state referred to by science as "spaced the fuck out, man." Iranian-American, new age author, Jamshid Hosseini described his experience with a drink made from tea, milk and cobra venom whilst traveling with Hare Krishna and Hindu monks:
"Oh, my God, why did I do this? I'm a fool. This is the stupidest thing I ever did."
- Jamshid Hosseini
He then went on to re-experience his childhood before embarking on a cosmic journey through time.
Hosseini barely survived the cobra tea party, and recommends that those seeking spiritual enlightenment substitute meditation for almost dying from deadly snake venom. Still, his experiences haven't deterred our eastern brothers, as many Asian cultures have been bottling "snake wine" for years, jamming cobras into bottles of rice wine and straight grain alcohol to dilute them into the mixture.
Not pictured: snake-related agony
Spiking alcohol (which is a poison) with cobra venom (which is a poison) is the type of trailblazing genius that painted the Sistine Chapel and brought The Flintstones to prime time television, so knock back another cold glass of death juice in the name of progress.
Also, there's sometimes scorpions in it, which adds a delightful bouquet of more poison.
Honey and having an awesome time have been inextricably linked since the dawn of creation. Almost every prehistoric culture on Earth has considered honey a gift from the gods, or at the very least a fantastic topping for pancakes. Its ancient esteem should come as no surprise seeing as how it must have taken a man (or woman, we're not here to play favorites) with balls the size of the Bronze Age to look at a swarming beehive and decide the bastards were hiding something tasty. This was possibly the same person that first decided to eat a pineapple.
"Bet you five bucks you won't bite into that thing."
Honey has some bodacious pharmaceutical qualities; boosting the immune system, preventing cancer, soothing cold and flu symptoms and tasting wonderful on crumpets. It's also a good preservative and we've found pots of honey in China and Egypt that are still in edible condition after thousands of years. But that shit isn't why it's on this list.
No, the golden treat takes another spin if the bees responsible have been munching down on Atropa belladona, also known as deadly nightshade, which is neither a misnomer nor a clever name. Belladonna is one of the most toxic plants on the planet. But when synthesized through the bee's natural chemical factory you end up with psychoactive nightshade honey (which totally sounds like the name of a bad industrial band but in actuality is probably worse for your health).
Still, not as bad as Nic Cage Honey.
In small doses, nightshade honey is known to cause euphoria and altered perception, notably enhancing perception of geometric shape, which we assume means that you will start to see the world as being made of blocky polygons like in Virtua Fighter.
Unsurprisingly, toxic honey is bottled as a liquor in some regions of the world, further solidifying the notion of poisoning to the brink of insanity as "having a good time."
We've all heard the old one about licking toads. You may have even seen that kid around the playground, the one who burned down his parents' garage trying to make crystal meth and totally saw a girl's boobs in fourth grade, pick up a startled amphibian and lick its slimy back as if he had found it in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.
Didn't you just wish you were as cool as that guy as you stood there in your pee-stained Spider-Man tracksuit? No? Just us?
OK, but no need for regret here. According to science, licking a toad doesn't actually do anything but make everyone around you seriously uncomfortable (the toad included). However, if you do run into a toad (specifically one of the Pokemon-named Bufo family), take note of the horn-like protrusions behind its head. Those are glands by which the toad produces its toxic payload, known as bufotoxins. In other words, this toad has poison horns, which is approximately as metal as a dragon's cock ring.
Unfortunately, from this angle you can't see his Danzig back tattoo.
As you have probably guessed, bufotoxins can get you seriously high, as some enterprizing space cadets discovered by squeezing the foamy goo out of the toad's horns, drying into a film and smoking it.
The composition of bufotoxin is similar to what is found in some mushrooms, a mixture that includes both DMT and epinephrine. This basically means that a hallucinogen and an adrenergic are joining forces like Chuck Norris and Lou Gosset, Jr. in Firewalker to kick the shit out of your mind. The drug is so intense that unlike most of the entries on this list, extracting and trafficking bufotoxins is ranked right up there with heroin and cocaine on the Against-the-Law-O-Meter.
Like snakes, spiders and Queen Latifah, scorpions are something most of us can agree are better off left in the depths of our nightmares, or on German pop stations. Being repeatedly stung by scorpions is one of the levels of Hell observed by Dante, right? But what's that? Some people actually sting themselves with scorpions on purpose? For fun?
And voluntarily saw Beauty Shop? What the fuck?
Yes. Yes, they do. While the venom of most scorpions is relatively harmless to humans (merely causing skin irritation not unlike a mosquito bite or bee sting), some species of scorpion contain powerful neurotoxins. These particular poisons play all sorts of havoc with neural receptors. Imagine letting a five-year-old play with a whole city's traffic lights for a day, except in your brain.
But, as we've seen, the line between poison and narcotic is thin and fuzzy. Here the venom often causes a massive release of serotonin, making the venom operate a lot like an opiate, which is a drug more commonly found along avenues that don't involve willful mutilation at the hands of a cold, unfeeling arachnid.
"I don't give a shit."
The effects can be quite similar to heroin. Sadly, this means that it is not unheard of for junkies to wander off into the desert looking for scorpions to sting themselves with to stave off withdrawals a little longer.
Get a job, you fucking junkies!
This may or may not be healthier than heroin (we're pretty sure there's no danger in sharing scorpions, but if you're depending on one of the harshest-looking predators in existence for your high we assume hepatitis is not a major concern for you), but either way we really hope nobody's leaving used scorpions lying around playgrounds. That's just dirty pool.
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For animals that go to great lengths to get stoned, check out 7 Species That Get High More Than We Do. Or find out about how humans are way behind on the learning curve, in 6 Modern Technologies Animals Invented Millions of Years Ago.
And stop by Cracked.com's Top Picks to see Gladstone licking toads while we all laugh.
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