If you get a zebrafish drunk and put it in a tank of sober zebrafish, the sober fish will adopt it as their leader and follow the drunk fish around the tank.

Drunk Fish Convince Sober Ones to Follow Them Around

It’s a good thing fish can’t operate a vehicle. Not only do drunk zebrafish swim extra fast, but they somehow get all the sober fish to follow them. Essentially, a drunk fish becomes the designated driver for the whole group.

Although a fish is only marginally like a human, fish can be convenient subjects for scientists who want to study the effects of alcohol. That’s because to get a fish tipsy, you don’t have to force it to drink anything. You only have to put a small concentration of alcohol into its tank.* Maurizio Porfiri, an associate professor at the New York University Polytechnic Institute of Engineering, used this technique to show last year that drunk zebrafish don’t fear robotic predators.

For his latest study of intoxic… Continue Reading (3 minute read)

13 thoughts on “If you get a zebrafish drunk and put it in a tank of sober zebrafish, the sober fish will adopt it as their leader and follow the drunk fish around the tank.”

  1. Taugay

    What if you put two drunk zebrafish and they go different ways? Who will they follow then?

  2. AverageTurky

    If I remember correctly, there’s a tipping point where if you get it too drunk all the other fish avoid it.

  3. DecentAdvertising

    It’s a confidence thing

  4. Null_Voider

    Who the hell comes up with these experiments?

  5. cantstandsyah

    I had two jack dempsey cichlids in a 55g tank and one time I got a bunch of zebra tetras as feeder fish. They ate them all except for one. It lived in that tank with them for 4 years. The dempsey’s eventually died and that little zebra tetra lived for another 2 years. My friend would feed it meatloaf and rotisserie chicken sometimes as an asshole. When it finally went we had a funeral. I think their natural lifespan is something like 4-5 years? It was incredible that it lived so long and especially being food. The only fish I have ever felt anything for was little zebra tetra. RIP Meat.

  6. BeardedDragon84

    If I got someone drunk and let him run free in your home, I don’t know if you would refer to him as your leader but you would follow him around your house seeing what he gets up to.

  7. empyreanchaos

    Man: “What do you do for a living?”

    Scientist: “I get fish drunk and study how other fish follow them around.”

    Man: “Wow, how did you end up getting a job doing that?”

    Scientist: “I stumbled into the lab one night completely smashed and started ordering people around, and they’re still listening to me!”

  8. icamefortutles

    What’s the procedure to get a zebra fish drunk?

  9. Frindwamp

    It’s an intervention, their just trying to calm him down before he gets hurt. My family does the same thing….

  10. borgemeister

    How does people figure this stuff out

  11. simulacrum500

    We were so caught up in wondering if we could; we never stopped to ask whether we should or not.

  12. kang568

    And today I learned there were some very bored scientists in this study

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