Source: Popular Science
Researchers from NYU were surprised to learn that one drunk fish in a school of fish affects the whole group’s behavior and causes them to swim faster.
Scientists already knew that fish tend to swim faster when they’re solitary and drunk. Until a recent study led by Maurizio Porfiri, however, they didn’t know that when introduced into a tank full of sober fish, that one drunk fish will swim even faster than before and cause the rest of the school to speed up as well.
These findings were especially true at an intermediate level of drunkenness. If the fish had too much alcohol or too little, its speed wasn’t affected as much and it was especially slow if very drunk.
Scientists believe that drunk fish swim even faster when in a group than when alone because of an increased desire to interact with others—a bit like how shy people come out of their shell when drinking. They believe that their sober schoolmates mistake the drunk fish’s uninhibited swimming for leadership and follow suit.
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