“Birds do it. Bees do it. Even educated fleas do it. Let’s do it, let’s get fucked up.” So sort-of goes some old song by another guy who liked to get fucked up whilst co-writing the great American songbook. But perhaps even that musical megamind Cole Porter wouldn’t have a fucking clue how zoologically and biologically correct these lyrics are.
Because, it turns out, birds do get fucked up. And lemurs do it, elephants do it, even ants up in your pants do it. So, let’s do it. Let’s read an internet-researched listicle.
1. Birds Do Do It
Actually, that’s how this whole thing got started for us. Cruising down the VICE homepage and here’s this article about how birds get high by crushing ants and rubbing their bug juices all up in their plumage.
How about we just let a mid-century paper by American entomologist and ornithologist Horace Groskin tell you how it works more succinctly than our illiterate, drug-crippled minds ever could: “Birds use the ants to anoint themselves with the formic acid excretions of the ant to give tone to the muscles and also for the general agreeable effect.”
Lots of birds fiend for ant acids, among them ravens, crows, chaffinches, mockingbirds, kestrels, starlings, and hoopoes. While some of these fowl are casual anters, some of them got a full on jones and go hunting for their six-legged narcotic.
“Some birds fly up on top of an anthill, sit down still, and then patiently wait for the ants to crawl up into their feathers. This is called ‘passive anting,’” Ornithologist Stefan Emanuel Baltag told VICE. “Other species pick the ants up with their beaks and actively wipe their excretion all over themselves. This is known as ‘active anting.’ One explanation for this is that birds use the ants’ formic acid as a stimulant, much like people smoking or taking drugs.”
2. Ants got them good trees
Those ants the birds crush and turn into crunk juice might be elevated to begin with. See, these little bugs have discovered that the acacia tree has a certain sugary syrup in its veins. So, what ants like to do is herd all over its bark for a big sizzurp party.
But, like all sizzurp parties, eventually things turn dark. Ants get addicted to the stuff and then they get crazy. They’ll strike out at anything that threatens their supply, even big animals. But like a city with really bad rehab treatment programs, when these syrup junkies get too crazy, the acacia tree starts making a pesticide to murder them all. Who knew there were ants living Requiem For A Dream?
3. Bees Do Do It Too
Bees aren’t druggies like the last couple genuses. They’re just straight up drunks. And it turns out us humans are the bad influence that get them started on the hooch. They don’t often find naturally fermenting alcohol in some exotic wild fruit. They mostly just steal our booze when we leave it out.
Boozing is a big stigma in the bee community. Drunken bees (found by researchers to be lazy, erratic, and violent) are kept out of their home hive by drone bouncers.
Bees in fact love beer, wine, and spirits almost as much as they loved Fat Joe’s briefly endorsed energy drink, as the rapper proved in this awesome ten year-old commercial.
4. Black lemurs are fucking crazy
This is some straight up psycho biker gang behavior. As you can see, most lemurs look cracked out to begin with. But the most hardcore like to show up their friends by biting the heads of giant poisonous millipedes. The bugs then secret toxins meant to be a defense weapon, but crazy-eyed lemurs just don’t give a fuck and they rub the cyanide-containing solutions all over their bodies. That’s why I don’t chill with lemurs anymore.
(Thanks, io9, photo via Wikimedia Commons)
5. Reindeer looooooooooooove to shorrrrooooooooooooommmmm
You haven’t even tripped unless you’ve been on magic mushrooms under the aurora borealis, and also a reindeer at the same time.
According to one hippy biologist, psilocybin might actually be the origin of the flying reindeer myth. The horned critters aren’t the only Siberia-natives that appreciate a good shroom now and then. Locals like it too. And biologist Don Pfister hypothesized to Live Science that some doped-up Syberians might have been the first to see reindeer in flight. Maybe there are similar explanations for other Christmas myths like Santa Claus and Jesus.
(Thanks, BuzzFeed. Image via Wikimedia Commons)
Who could forget these guys? The whatsit in the room. The pink thingies on parade. Eyes as high as corn, memories that don’t forget. Yes, even these bountifully idiomatic creatures love to get good and loaded.
Their drug of choice is the potent hallucinogen the iboga plant. After ingestion they see things that only they will ever know. It’s a sacred tradition, passed down generation to generation (for real), just like beer in Wisconsin, weed in Humboldt County, and opium in (shit, we’re out of time do more internet research. You do that one).