You may think that taking drugs and getting high is reserved for taking pills or maybe some rare mushrooms, but actually, you may just happen to eat the wrong fish & go down a whole trial of nightmares. Yes, some people have accidentally gotten high by eating some gills.
Sarpa salpa is its official name and it is extremely recognizable by its golden stripes on the side. Found in the tropical waters or the Mediterranean, its common name is Salema porgy and apart from given people hallucinogenic nightmares if ingested: it is otherwise not very significant at all. But that is, of course, its well-planned trap, this little fish may not look very scary at all but if any predator happens to scoop them up when they are going to be in for a bad time.
Known in Arabic as “The Fish That Makes Dreams” this type of sea bream was actually eaten as a recreational drug during the time of the Roman Empire. There are also documented cases of it being used for ceremonial purposes in the Polynesian islands. Today cases of people getting high by eating sarpa are quite rare. But in 1994, reports emerged of a man feeling extremely sick after eating a fried sarpa in the French Riviera. He reported blurred vision, dizziness, muscle weakness, and vomiting – which prompted him the next day to decide to drive home.
This, of course, was a deadly mistake, as he found he could not drive at all due to animals screaming all around him. The giant animals were not real and he was hallucinating, luckily, the man took the hint & checked himself into a hospital. The next day, he couldn’t remember a single thing but after 36 hours he recovered completely. It seems that sarpa compared to other hallucinogens is extremely powerful.
Often the hallucinations are demonic and are both auditory and visual, these scientists believe is due to the poison in the fish which causes a very rare phenomenon known as ichthyoallyeinotoxism. This type of poisoning plays on the bodies nervous system which is what creates hallucinations.