Many believe that dolphins would be the second species to evolve if the human were to disappear and the intelligence of these animals is known. For these reasons in the 60s in a laboratory located in the Virgin Islands in the United States a peculiar experiment was carried out.
The experiment consisted of teaching English to a dolphin for 10 weeks, since neurologist John C. Lilly said that dolphins have a brain 40% larger than humans and were able to understand human language. To complete and demonstrate what the neurologist claimed, they hired the young 23-year-old Margaret Howe, who lived day and night with the animal.
The dolphin was called "Peter" and together with the young Howe lived in a house built especially for human-aquatic mammal.
The ground was covered with water to a height of 22 centimeters so that Peter could swim everywhere. Both were constantly interacting with each other: they ate, slept, worked and played together.
The furniture remained suspended from the ceiling or hung on the wall. Like the desk where Margaret made her notes on the progress of the experiment.
Interestingly, the animal managed to approximate its language to the human, emitting sounds similar to English words such as: "ball", "one", "we", "triangle" and "hello".
Time was passing and Peter reached sexual maturity, it was then that the dolphin wanted the closest thing to a girlfriend, a female to court and the only one who was there was the young woman. There came a point where Peter ceased to be interested in the lessons and began courting the researcher nibbling on her feet.
Margaret ignored these actions so Peter began to behave more violently. It was a phase where the dolphin used its nose and fins to hit Margaret's legs.
For a while he had to wear rubber boots and a kind of broom with which he tried to scare Peter away every time he became violent.
This made them decide that Peter should have "conjugal" visits with the other dolphins.
Peter, after these visits, returned to live in the house with Margaret, and once again, he tried to woo her but no longer as before, instead of biting her, he began to woo her by gently rubbing her on the leg of the young woman while showing her his genitals.
Margaret, at the insistence of the animal and because he believed that if he calmed that sexual desire that Peter felt, he would be interested in language lessons again, then he accepted and began to rub the dolphin's erection.
She expressed the following:
“It was not sexual of me, perhaps sensual. It became a part of what was happening, like an itch, you just had to scratch to get rid of it and move on. It seems to me that this strengthened the link, not because of sexual activity, but that there were no interruptions. And that was all. I was there to meet Peter, and that was part of Peter. ”
The experiment failed and had to be canceled so the dolphin ended up in a Miami warehouse and, soon after, he decided to end his life, committing suicide.
But How was it possible for him to commit suicide?
After experiencing a significant deterioration, he stopped breathing and dropped to the bottom. Experts indicate that it was due to depression after separating from Margaret.
Dolphins unlike ours, their breathing is not automatic: "Each breath is a conscious effort: if life becomes difficult, the dolphin stops breathing."
He never tried to teach a dolphin to speak English.