HomeOutdoorsViralDeer Can Get ‘High’ On Leaves, New Research Reveals

Deer Can Get ‘High’ On Leaves, New Research Reveals

by Brett Stayton
Deer Chewing On Leaves
Photo by Philippe Gerber/Getty Images

These deer will pass on grass. Yo, they’ll hit them leaves though bruh. Apparently, piles of decomposing leaves can be a source of nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas. Deer might not be smart enough to not get their heads stuck in a bucket. However, they are apparently smart enough to figure out that they can get properly weird on a pile of leaves.

Almost 7 minutes of trail cam footage shared by JS Project Wild on YouTube shows deer after deer coming in to get a loud whiff of that sweet and savory laughing gas. That stuff be hittin’ too though. After getting their fix, deer after deer just starts tweakin’ out bro. Must be that good good. That premium.

The caption of the video provides some great context for the entertaining footage. Some journalistic sleuthing by USA Today also confirmed that the whole thing about leaves emitting nitrous oxide is totally true by the way.

Supposedly decomposing leaves emit nitrous oxide, especially when the leaves are concentrated such as in a pile. My leaf pile is huge and some of the leaves are four years old. I periodically `stir’ the pile with my loader tractor. However, if the leaves on the top are dry, the deer will actually dig down to the rotting leaves and then inhale. It’s crazy—at different times in the video you will actually see them do this.

Other Instances Of Animals Getting High On Nature

The deer in this video are not the first wild animals to be witnessed getting high on nature though. Just last summer a bearcub in Turkey went big-time viral online after a picture showed the little bear just absolutely stoned off his gourd on some mad honey. The substance, locally known as deli bal, is a type of rhododendron honey that produces hallucinogenic effects. The bear eventually recovered to full health, but the picture was hilarious as the bear looked like it had just gone a full round of fun with Snoop Dogg on Willie Nelson’s tour bus. Seriously though, that little bear looks more fried than Stewie Griffin at a Grateful Dead concert.

Getting buzzed or tripping on nature isn’t just for bears and deer though. According to Smithsonian Magazine, horses will intentionally eat hallucinogenic weeds. Elephants like to get drunk on overripe fruits. Bighorn sheep chow down on narcotic lichens. Even monkeys seek out fruits with ethanol to catch a little buzz. Perhaps most notably though, dolphins get high on puffer fish.

A documentary by the BBC previously revealed that dolphins intentionally provoke pufferfish into stinging them with a potent chemical the fish use for self-defense. In small doses, the toxins appear to relax the dolphins into almost a trance-like state.

“The dolphins were filmed gently playing with the puffer, passing it between each other for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, unlike the fish they had caught as prey which were swiftly torn apart,” said Rob Pilley, the zoologist who observed the behavior. “At one point the dolphins are seen floating just underneath the water’s surface, apparently mesmerized by their own reflections.”