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Research Shows Octopuses Are More Social While High On MDMA


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A recent study from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine aimed to test the asocial tendencies of the California two-spot Octopus. The results were interesting.. 

So, as it turns out, getting octopuses high as f*ck on ecstasy makes them more social- go figure.

Typically these octopuses do not socialize, and when put into tanks at Johns Hopkins, were more likely to fight each other or just merely isolate themselves and cling to a tank wall in seclusion. However this drastically changed once the drugs were administered. Leading neuroscientist Gül Dölen explains the trippy phenomenon;

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People are like, ‘Have you got any pictures of octopuses holding glow sticks?’ which I kind of ignore because that wasn’t really our objective. MDMA is a great tool for investigating whether or not an octopus can become social.

Even during mating the male will just leave his sperm and depart as quickly as possible, because if he sticks around she’ll attack him.

On MDMA though, the octopuses become more tactile and social.

Some were being very playful, doing water acrobatics or spent time fondling the airstone [aquarium bubbler].

Serious scientists are jumping in and saying we can learn a lot from these tools,

I hope that this is one of the studies that pushes us in that direction and it’s not one of those weird things that only ravers know anything about.

According to Gül Dölen and her team, there is in fact a practical and beneficial scientific use to getting these Octopuses high.

Similar experiments have been done on other species, and it all builds towards our understanding of these animals and their cognitive functionalities, as well as aiding actual human cognitive functions with this research- for example using the drug to treat PTSD.

This experimentation to possibly turn psychedelics into therapeutics can be highly controversial, and although human and octopus brains have a few similar qualities, the conclusions of the experiment may only serve preliminary functions, but that won’t stop scientists from delving into future research.

Here’s another interesting study that answers why CBD can be transformative for mental health

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