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Fish that triggers hallucinations found off British coast

  1. salviablue
    [h2]A species of bream, sarpa salpa, which can trigger hallucinations when eaten, has been been discovered in British waters due to global warming.[/h2]

    11574.jpg (left)The Sarpa salpa fish is a potentially hallucinogenic form of Bream normally found in off the coast of Africa Photo: BNPS
    The species of bream is normally found in the balmier waters of the Mediterranean and South Africa, was found by fisherman Andy Giles in his nets in the English Channel.

    Mr Giles, 38, caught the fish, which is instantly recognised by its gold stripes running along its body, six miles south of Polperro, Cornwall.
    "We were trawling for lemon sole and hauled up the net at the end of the day and almost immediately saw this striped fish, we didn't have a clue what it was," he said.

    "I had never seen one before and after taking a photograph of it I tried to look it up on the internet and called some friends to see if they knew what it was.

    "I put it in the fish box and brought it back for experts to have a look at it.

    "Now I realise what it was and the effects it can have, perhaps I should have taken it into town to sell to some clubbers!"

    There have only been three previous recordings of sarpa salpa in British waters before, with one of them being off the Channel Islands in 1983.

    James Wright, a senior biologist at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, said: "These are a fairly common fish off Tenerife, Malta and Cyprus but it is very rare to get them this far north.

    "It could be a single fish that was shoaling with a different species but it could be that there are more of them in our waters."

    Sarpa salpa are a popular dish in many Mediterranean restaurants.

    But according to marine experts, certain species of plankton-eating fish, like the sarpa salpa, can give off hallucinogenic fish poisoning if the heads or other body parts are consumed.

    The effects include vivid hallucinations within minutes of eating it which can last for days.

    In 2006 two men, one aged 90, were hospitalised in the south of France after eating sarpa salpa.

    The elderly man suffered from auditory hallucinations a couple of hours after eating the fish followed by a series of nightmares over the next two nights.

    The younger man, aged 40, endured similar effects which took 36 hours to disappear.

    Published: 1:09PM BST 13 May 2009


  1. Spucky
    AW: Fish that triggers hallucinations found off British coast

    I hope they are Banning this Fish from entering the British Waters!
  2. chillinwill
  3. Rainbowzz
    As soon as i read this, I thought to myself "those sharks must be having alot of fun". And also "I can see this becoming a south park episode within the year."

    A hallucinogenic fish eh? Interesting. I wonder what the compound or chemical that causes it is.
  4. kailey_elise
    Very interesting, though I don't know how many people would really be interested in a 36 hour "trip". Heh.

    Is it hallucinogenic (really, psychedelic) like LSD, or hallucinogenic like Salvia? Interesting...

    Spucky, are you serious, or were you being sarcastic?

    Here's a link to a thread on "potent" ( some hallucinogenic ) animals:


    And it looks like we have a wiki about hallucinogenic fish:


  5. freedomf
    swim eat a lot of that when was young
  6. salviablue
    Could you please elaborate on this?
    Maybe give us some more information like experiences, local hear say/stories/traditions etc.
    But if you could post in one of those threads kailey_elise mentioned and place the link here, I think that may be more useful.
    I'm sure some more information on your statement would help turn that little red box green.
  7. Charenton
    SWIM wonders what kind of nightmares this curious creature creates. It sounds like something that would appeal to Salvador Dali.

    Could also be that the fish is not being prepared properly by the kitchen staff as with those puffer fish in Japan and Korea. Japanese law mandates that the poisonous internal organs of puffer fish have to be disposed of via a locked bin!
  8. TheOpium
    That's really intresting actually,
    "Sarpa salpa, also known as the Salema porgy, is a species of bream, recognisable by the golden stripes that run down the length of its body, and which can cause hallucinations when eaten. It is relatively common off the coasts of South Africa, Tenerife, Malta and Cypros, but has been occasionally been found as far north as Great Britain."
    SWIM guesses that has already been said but, hope that helped
  9. freedomf
    salpa is a very usual fish here in greece swim eat a lot of that and never have any problem or any hallucination

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