Why give an elephant a hallucinogenic drug? The researchers were ostensibly trying to incite a state called musth: a period of intense aggression in bull elephants where testosterone spikes. It’s likely connected to mating, but scientists didn’t know a ton about how it worked or what triggered it, let alone how to stop it. That posed a problem in zoos, where male elephants who were usually great with humans could suddenly turn dangerously violent. If sending a young elephant on a wild trip produced similar behavior, the researchers reasoned, they and their colleagues could use acid (which was still legal at the time) to create experimental scenarios aimed at controlling musth itself.