Far out, man: Ancient people made cave art while high on hallucinogenic drugs, new research suggests.
After analyzing the patterns found in thousands of year's worth of prehistoric cave art, scientists from Tokyo found similarities between paintings done in vastly different times and places. These similarities are "best explained by the common experience of these patterns as geometric hallucinations during altered states of consciousness induced by shamanic ritual practices," according to the study, published in June in the journal Adaptive Behavior.
The paintings show patterns characteristic of those in modern psychedelic art, made by those known to be under the influence of hallucinogens,according to Gizmodo. The study complements other research that has found depictions of mushrooms and known hallucinogenic plants in other cave art, which suggest cavemen dabbled in mind-bending substances before making art.