Drunk elephants: not just a euphemism for the 2019 Steelers

Published April 29, 2020

First it was a legend — drunk elephants stampeding through towns. Then it was debunked in 2005: Elephants can’t consume enough ethanol.

Now it’s been de-debunked. (Rebunked?) Anyway, that 2005 debunking was based on the idea that elephants metabolize ethanol the same way humans do. Wrong.

Despite those hazy memories of sophomore year, humans are really efficient at processing alcohol thanks to a gene called ADH7. In fact, we can process alcohol 40 times more efficiently than animals without our version of ADH7 … like elephants.

It might not be your imagination

The implication of the new study is the anecdotal drunk elephant story may not be so apocryphal after all.

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