It was a bizarre series of events, starting with a “harmless” study in the American Virgin Islands in 1965. Neurologist Dr C Lilly led a research team to discover whether or not dolphins could be taught to speak English. However, the study is internationally known for something unrelated to the intended study.
The study was funded after Dr Lilly had written the best selling Man And Dolphin which suggested that marine animals were able to understand human language, and was licensed by the American government to study the effects of LSD on Dolphins.
Now for the good part.
23-Year-old Margret was hired to live with Peter the dolphin, day and night for ten weeks, while simultaneously trying to teach him English in complete isolation. They became quite attached at the hip.
Margret and Peter shared a waterside villa which was flooded with 22 inches of sea water. Margret’s desk was suspended from the roof, as was her bed, which was surrounded by a shower curtain, so she would be able to sleep without being splashed by the dolphin.
After a few weeks, Peter was able to say words like “ball”, “one”, “we”, “triangle” and “hello”…kinda. He couldn’t pronounce it like humans could, but he was able to say the dolphin variation of those words.
It wasn’t long before this scientific study took a sexual turn, after Peter started to become more mature. He liked to rub himself against Margret, and loved to be around her.
Margret stated she wasn’t uncomfortable unless he became too aggressive. She also revealed in the BBC documentary The Girl Who Talked to Dolphins that “It was just easier to incorporate that and let it happen, and it was very precious and gentle…”
Margret also admits to having “several long ‘loving’ sessions.”
Apparently it was sexual on the dolphin’s part, but on Margret’s it may have just been sensuous.
The experiment was quickly ended, the lab was closed, and Margret was separated from her beloved Peter. She went on with her life, but Peter was shipped to a Miami tank, where in a matter of weeks, he committed suicide by refusing to breathe and sinking to the bottom of his tank.
Experts say Peter’s suicide was caused by depression as a result of his broken heart.