Turns out the myth of flying reindeer might not be that far from the truth: According to a piece in Pharmaceutical Journal by scientist Andrew Haynes, they (along with other animals) sometimes deliberately eat hallucinogenic fungi in order to amuse themselves during long winters.
The Sun reports:
Haynes believes reindeer deliberately seek out the mushrooms to escape the monotony of dreary long winters.
Writing in the respected Pharmaceutical Journal, Mr Haynes said: "They have a desire to experience altered states of consciousness.
"For humans a common side-effect of mushrooms is the feeling of flying, so it's interesting the legend about Santa's reindeer is they can fly."
In a slightly less appetizing tidbit, Haynes went on to say that herdsmen have been known to drink their own reindeer's urine in an effort to catch a buzz themselves.