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Nepal’s Hallucinatory Honey

Science By

Not all honey is created equal. For instance, “Elvish” Turkish honey, which comes from a nearly 6,000-foot-deep cave, costs over $3,000 a pound. Also, there’s a honey from Nepal in parts of the Annapurna mountain range that makes you hallucinate.

In the spring, this honey contains a rare substance from rhododendron flowers called grayanotoxin. It’s known for its intoxicating effects, giving it a reputation as an aphrodisiac, a powerful medicine, a hallucinogenic drug, and (on a far less positive note) a poison.

The Gurung people in the region go honey hunting by descending cliffs on handmade ladders to gather honey nestled under jagged overhangs. Watch Vice go on one of these excursions and discover the effects of “Mad Honey” in the video below.