DMT Discovered in Marine Sponges

Some people have all the luck. Some people get excited when they win a free order of fries and that’s the best they get. Not my pal, Hamilton Morris. No, he gets things like newly discovered variations of DMT. Before some of you get all huffy with your hours of arguments, just remember that this is scientific work on the cutting edge. Though it is controversial to some, an understanding of what we call consciousness is serious business to people like Hamilton.

That said, check out this astonishing article at

Modest though it may be, what we have contained in this letter is possible evidence of the first psychedelic drug of marine origin.1 In 1997 Alexander Shulgin wrote of marine tryptamines, “5-Bromo-DMT and 5,6-dibromo-DMT are found in the sponges Smenospongia aurea and S. echina resp. I have no idea if they are active by smoking (the 5-Br-DMT just might be)… I had the fantasy of trying to scotch the rumor I’m about to start, that all the hippies of the San Francisco Bay Area were heading to the Caribbean with packets of Zig-Zag papers, to hit the sponge trade with a psychedelic fervor. This is not true. I refuse to take credit for this myth.” And so in his semifacetious remark Shulgin sparked what has now been well over a decade of speculation on the possibility of poriferan psychedelics. A priori, there is no reason why 5-Br-DMT should not possess psychedelic activity. The substitution of a hydrogen for a bromine atom actually increases the lipophilicity, giving 5-Br-DMT a pharmacokinetic edge over its close relatives DMT and bufotenine when partitioning into the brain. And it is a well-known fact that the 5-position of the tryptamine molecule accepts a wide variety of substituents while retaining activity.

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Gabriel Roberts

Gabriel D. Roberts is a theological scholar, researcher and public speaker that specializes in discussions about the nature of perception and belief. After 27 years of passionate searching and study, Gabriel stepped away from his long held Christian faith into a more expansive and fluid worldview.The details and reasons are catalogued in his book, Born Again To Rebirth.Like many others who have had an earnest thirst for the answers to the big questions of life, Gabriel was not satisfied to settle for not knowing more.His latest book, The Quest For Gnosis explores the roots of belief, the power of the ecstatic state in one’s spiritual life and the means by which a deeply satisfying spiritual life may be achieved outside of the bonds of dogma.Within The Quest For Gnosis, Gabriel interviews 20 of the brightest minds in this field of study, including Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, Graham Hancock, Daniele Bolelli, Peter J. Carroll, Hamilton Morris, Dr. Aaron Cheak, David Metcalfe, Dr. Rick Strassman and many more.

Gabriel writes for VICE Magazine, and and is the author of three books. He is continuing his research at the University of Washington in his hometown of Tacoma, WA.

1 Comment on "DMT Discovered in Marine Sponges"

  1. kowalityjesus | Apr 2, 2013 at 1:38 pm |

    We will never know how tripped out it is below the ocean until we can translate the epic poems of dolphins.

    I was at the beach up till yesterday and saw dolphins in the water just offshore, running out to try to get close to them. Last year I had chased after them for 10 miles in a kayak, with their initial wary regards and their eventual amusement. It’s clear that I was and am a phenomenon to them (as pursuit of the autotelic is perhaps the thread that binds our two species, and I was a rare and outstanding example of a human who openly demonstrated such a proclivity) though I cannot postulate to what degree the matter of my person was shared in a clandestine language vs some numinous, unintelligible, psychical criterion.

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