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Catfish Licking
Here's the question: is it possible to get high by licking a catfish? According to this article by Tony Bridges, teenagers have recently been seen hanging around at docks around the Gulf of Mexico, asking fishermen if they have any extra catfish so they can lick them and get high. Supposedly something in the mucus that covers the skin of certain kinds of saltwater catfish contains hallucinogenic properties. I've heard this is true about some species of frogs, but whether it also holds true for catfish, I don't know. The article itself is noncommittal about whether the rumor is true. And, so far, I haven't been able to locate any credible research on the subject. My guess, without knowing anything about the biology of catfish, is that it's a load of codswallop.
Categories: Animals
Posted by Alex on Mon Jan 31, 2005
Comments (16)
More from the Hoax Museum Archives:
I think it's a great idea to tell teens that they can get high from licking catfish. It sure would be amusing to watch them try, over, and over, and over again.
Posted by cvirtue  on  Mon Jan 31, 2005  at  04:27 AM
...or they'd all get terribly ill & vomit all over.
Posted by Maegan  on  Mon Jan 31, 2005  at  09:35 AM
Did you ever look straight into the eyes of a catfish? Whoa... their pupils are all dilated and the blood vessels are are all swollen. They may be bottom-dwellers, but they are high as kites. this has become a bit of a problem in Rural America, so I'm told. Most teenagers will tell you it's easier to get a couple of catfish than it is to get beer. Catfish labs have sprung up in the basements and barns, and school districts have declared their property to be "Catfish-Free" Zones. It's really sad... a kid was found downtown the other day, incoherantly mumbling about "I gotta get my licks in, man", and "It's whisker time, Dudes". He's currently in the local nut hut, where they get all those bad, illegal drugs out of your system, and give you all new, legal bad drugs. I gotta go. It's been a while since I licked my my way into an alkaloid frenzy, and I've got a a mean Catfish-Jones going on.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Mon Jan 31, 2005  at  11:51 AM
try one 😛
Posted by Unfairly Balanced  on  Mon Jan 31, 2005  at  01:02 PM
There are several kinds of catfishes, including several marine species and some tropical freshwater catfishes, that have venomous fin spines. The worst of these is the fossil catfish, also called liver catfish or stinging catfish, which has a sting that has been known to be fatal in some cases. Perhaps there are some that also produce toxins on their skins. (None of the venomous catfishes are native to freshwater in North America, by the way). I have never heard of getting high by licking a catfish, (wouldn't everybody who eats the fish also get high?), but it's conceivable that this might be true if you chose the right species and licked carefully enough that you got an effective but sublethal dose. It is true that licking certain tropical and subtropical toads (or, reportedly, smoking the dried toads in a pipe)can induce hallucinations, along with a good deal of nausea. Eating flesh or various body parts of marine pufferfishes (known in sushi bars as fugu) can induce a euphoric intoxication, but a slight overdose of the toxin is frequently fatal. It is said that in Japan a few dozen people every year succumb to this cause. Several Japanese celebrities are reported to have died this way.
Posted by Big Gary C  on  Mon Jan 31, 2005  at  02:50 PM
Cats lick themselves a lot, don't they? Cats... Cat Fish... hmmm... no wonder cats are weird. Do dog balls have the same effect? That would explain a lot, too.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Mon Jan 31, 2005  at  05:01 PM
You don't smoke the dried toad, you harmlessly milk the 5-methoxy-DMT and smoke it. See
Posted by Eivind  on  Mon Jan 31, 2005  at  07:21 PM
"It is said that in Japan a few dozen people every year succumb to this cause. Several Japanese celebrities are reported to have died this way."

The poison in fugu comes from toxic corals that the fish feed on. Most fugu served in restaurants are raised in farms where they are only fed nontoxic corals. I suspect the "several Japanese celebrities" that have died is an example of a Japanese urban legend. Like the kid from the Life cereal commercial dying from eating pop rocks. I know there was once a Japanese opera singer that was severely poisoned by eating bad fugu many years ago, but I don't think he actually died. That case is mentioned in "The Serpent and the Rainbow", and excellent book by a Harvard botanist about how natural toxins are used to create real life zombies in Haiti. Not to be confused with the horrible B-movie of the same title.
Posted by sombrero11  on  Mon Jan 31, 2005  at  08:58 PM
Holy crap! That kid from the Life commercials DIDN'T die from eating pop rocks and drinking soda? Woah!

Hey dude, pass me some more of that catfish.
Posted by AqueousBoy  on  Mon Jan 31, 2005  at  09:21 PM
This is a true story: I grew up in Edgewater, NJ. A family who lived down the block was named The Menasts. I think that's how the name was spelled. Anyway, they had gotten their children into modeling and commercial jobs out of NYC. The market was big back then, mid/late 60's, but the competition was smaller. Anyway, these kids had a distinctive look. Irish, big freckles, etc., and that terrible NJ accent. Anyway, those three kids you see in the "Mikey Likes It" Life Cereal commercial were actually brothers, all three cousins of the family who lived down the street from me. The two older boys visited the cousins by me one day, and they were introduced to me as "those kids who do them commercials and stuff in The City". I never did get to meet "Mikey". He was too young. Here's the really weird part. My Dad worked for General Foods Corporation, the manufacturer of Pop Rocks. Take it from me- Mikey did not choke on Pop Rocks. He was run over by a school bus driven by Eddie Haskell.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Mon Jan 31, 2005  at  11:59 PM
"You don't smoke the dried toad, you harmlessly milk the 5-methoxy-DMT and smoke it."

I stand corrected.

By the way, Wade Davis, author of "The Serpent and the Rainbow" mentioned above, has written elsewhere about smoking toads to get high.
He's a great storyteller, cut from the old swashbuckling style of ethnobotanists.
Posted by Big Gary C  on  Tue Feb 01, 2005  at  10:09 AM
Okay- I've been getting some strenuous E-mails about my Dog Balls comments a couple of posts ago. Please allow me to apologize. I've crossed the line of decency and I know it. Mistakes were made. This all reminds me of the time my brother came to visit, and my dog GeeDub started licking his doggy balls right in front of my brother. My brother, feeling frothy, commented: "Whoa. I wish I could do that". To which I promptly retorted: "Go ahead. He don't bite". Grrrrrr
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Tue Feb 01, 2005  at  09:44 PM
:sick: Have you ever eaten a catfish does that get you high you drugys
Posted by Alucard  on  Tue Feb 28, 2006  at  08:31 AM
the catfish has to be alive to produce the mucus to get make you hallucinate. so no if you eat the fish after its dead obviously it wont have any effect. fresh water cats are good eating but saltwater don't have a lot of meat on them.
Posted by ebucket  on  Sun Sep 20, 2009  at  05:38 AM
i would like to add that eating the catfish would not produce any effects because the alkaloids would not be present in the meat.
Posted by ian  on  Wed Oct 14, 2009  at  03:29 PM
me and my friend andrew tried it, and it really worked! i recommend licking closer to the butt.. its a great feeling! its better high then smoking trees... and its free!

everyone shuld do this.. its

Posted by shahhl  on  Wed Nov 04, 2009  at  11:01 AM
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