The world’s few remaining species of talking animals could soon become extinct if LSD use continues to fall, according to a recent study.
To date, over 300 species of anthropomorphic animals have been documented, from silly caged geckos who tell knock-knock jokes to sage cows who offer advice on family disputes.
However, biologists fear that most of these species have already disappeared.
“Native populations of these animals experienced a burst in the 1960s,” said Akeni Morikawa, a research biologist at the University of Central Florida. “By 1969, there were literally millions of talking cats, dogs, hamsters — and even pythons, ferrets and alligators — living in homes where LSD was consumed.”
By the mid-1980s, the study says, as the popularity of LSD fell in favor of other drugs, the number of talking animals dropped to around 260,000 in the United States, and an estimated half of a million in the world.
“Talking animals had become prey to non-native, non-communicative species, such as the cocaine rabbit and the PCP hawk,” Akeni said. “Also, talking animals often died off due to neglect. People stopped taking LSD, so they stopped talking to these animals.”
Akemi says talking animals experienced a resurgence in the mid-1990s as LSD again become a popular drug, thanks to cultural factors like house music, raves and laser light shows. This resurgence was short-lived, however, and by the year 2000, most species of talking animals were on endangered lists.
“It’s only gotten worse since then,” Akemi says. “According to our research, as few as 100 talking animals remain. Not coincidentally, drug experts say that no more 100 people in the US still take LSD. It’s just not something people do anymore.”
The study concludes that if people continue finding leisure activities other than dropping LSD, talking animals could disappear from Earth forever.
“If that happens, who will tell us when a flying spider has implanted eggs in our brains, causes our faces to melt?” Akemi said. “The neighbor’s goat? Our goldfish? By that point, it will be too late.”