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Dolphins Can Go 15 Days Without Real Sleep

Photo by Joe Raedle/Newsmakers.

Flipper might be the ultimate fraternity brother.


Researchers have discovered that dolphins can rest one-half of their brains at a time, allowing them to remain alert and active indefinitely. A new article published in PLoS One this week reveals that the cetaceous insomniacs can keep a party going for more than two weeks.

Using echolocation skills similar to sonar in a submarine, two dolphins were trained to find submerged targets in a research pen off the coast of San Diego. Remarkably, the two carried on their target-tagging activities continuously for 15 days without any obvious fatigue. Scientists believe that the seagoing mammals, with no gills or any other underwater breathing apparatus, have most likely developed this very special trait to allow them to breathe in the ocean and remain on 24-7 alert for predators.

Either that, or dolphins are totally hooked on that new 360-hour energy drink.