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Reindeer, Other Animals Get High On Magic Mushrooms, Scientist Claims

Reindeer

First Posted: 12/23/10 08:51 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:20 PM ET

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.

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Filed by Carly Schwartz  |