The salema porgy is an entirely normal looking fish. It grows to be around six inches long and has fetching silver and gold stripes. If you caught one while out on a fishing expedition, it’s entirely possible you would keep it and make a meal out of it. And then you would wildly hallucinate, because the salema porgy is basically a drug.
The salema porgy, in all its striped glory, is commonly found off the coast of South Africa as well as Cyprus, Malta and Tenerife.
Eating salema porgy, otherwise known as the sarpa salpa next time you’re at the fish market, can cause both auditory and visual hallucinations that have been compared to the effects of LSD and DMT.
The diet of salema porgy may be what’s behind their drug-like effect. These fish dine on single cell plankton and caulerpa prolifera algae, both of which carry DMT.
If you think you’ve come up with a great idea for a fish importing business, maybe think again. In a recent study, two men were given salema porgy to eat. They both ended up in the hospital with hallucinations, of course, as well as major digestive issues. The effects lasted 36 hours.