Although it is said that we often can’t help whom we love and fall in love with, the same can’t be said about a love story between a human and an animal.

In the event of sexual attraction between a human being and an animal, the dopamine and mushy feelings can’t be blamed on the inability to “think right” in the face of love. 

Although the subject of our story today denied every sexual attraction to the animal in question, on her part, the fact remains that Margaret Howe Lovatt engaged in sensual activities with a dolphin that was the object of her science experiment. 

We promise you that this story will rank top on your list of weird, disturbing true stories. At the end of the story, you can tell us what your most cringe-worthy parts of the story were. Settle into your seatbelts as you are in for a ride.




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10 /10 Margaret Howe Lovatt

Lovatt was born Margaret C Howe in 1942. She is known for her controversial experiment where she tried teaching a dolphin (named Peter) to understand and mimic human speech.

The investigation and her problematic relationship with the dolphin were documented in Christopher Riley’s documentary, The Girl Who Talked to Dolphins. 

At 79, Lovatt currently volunteers as a naturalist. She married a photographer who took pictures of her researches on dolphins, and they had three daughters together.



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9 /10 What Inspired Lovatt's Experiment?

Lovatt has been an animal lover since she was only a kid. Influenced by the book about a talking cat given to her by her mother in her childhood, Lovatt grew fascinated with talking animals. 

When she grew older, in 1964, she set out to teach a dolphin speech. The experiment with the 6-year-old bottlenose dolphin was scheduled for ten weeks, but a lot more happened within that time frame, as you will get to know in a sec!






8 /10 Lovatt Meets Lily

John C Lilly was a neuroscientist with the California Institute of Technology who worked in the same research lab as Lovatt, directed by Bateson Gregory.

Lily built a more extensive research lab funded by NASA and the United States Navy to carry out experiments in line with Lovatt’s.

In addition, he made a dolphinarium, housing two female dolphins and a male dolphin (Peter). For two years after that, they both worked to prove dolphins could learn human speech although using different approaches.

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7 /10 Peter Had A Crush On Lovatt

The research saw Peter and Lovatt practically living together. They ate together and did everything else together. At the same time, she tried to help him get past struggling with the letter “m” to get him a master “hello Margaret.”

Four weeks into the research, Peter started having multiple arousals, being a sexually maturing pubescent dolphin. He would rub himself on her knees and feet or hands, and while this was disturbing, she allowed it.

6 /10 Reliving Him Of His Urges

To help him out with his urges, Lovatt reported initially regularly moving him to be with the female dolphins in another pool.

However, that didn’t work out as it caused a strain on the experiment and was a distraction to their lessons. So instead, Lovatt settled for physically reliving Peter of his urges by manually stimulating his genitals.

Naturally, this is where you cringe. And as you guessed, this didn’t sit well with the rest of the world, which is no surprise.

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5 /10 It Wasn't Sexual... At Least Not On Her Part

According to Lovatt, sexually stimulating Peter was not sexual on her part…perhaps sensuous.

Quoting her defense on the act, she said that “it would just become part of what was going on, like an itch, just get rid of that scratch, and we would be done and move on.”

In her defense, it was part of Peter, and she was in the experiment to know about Peter, which didn’t exclude his sexual urges.

4 /10 The World Becomes Aware

In the 1970s, a pretty exaggerated story about Lovatt’s and Peter’s sensuous moments was published in Hustler Magazine.

The cover page had a disturbing drawing of a dolphin and a lady in a compromising sexual position.

Lovatt bought all the copies she could find, but it was too late to stop the story from getting out there. The deed had already been done, and the world knew her as the lady practicing interspecies sex with a dolphin.

3 /10 Lily Loses His Funding

Lily’s research also included researching the effect of the drug LSD to improve mental health, and NASA funded this. He was one of the few neuroscientists given a license to experiment with the influence of LSD on mental health in the 1960s.

He carried out experiments and observations on the dolphins in his dolphinarium, “curious about the effect it would have on them.”

Unfortunately, following the non-effectiveness of the drug and his apathy towards Lovatt’s experiment, he lost his funding, and the lab was closed down.

2 /10 The Experiment Was Canceled

With nothing left to do, funding cut short, lab shut down, and whatnot, Lovatt’s time with Peter had come to an end. According to her, it would have been easier keeping him if Peter had been a cat or a dog. But sadly, he was a dolphin. 

She, however, helped Lily move Peter and the two other female dolphins to Lily’s new lab, located in a disused bank building in Miami. But things didn’t go well for Peter moving forward as his health massively declined.

1 /10 All's Well That Ends Well... Or Not

Well, it so happens that not only humans hurt and feel the pain of heartbreak. Scrap that! Not only can humans get a broken heart, but animals can too. That’s a shocker.

According to Andy Williamson, Peter’s veterinarian, Peter died of a broken heart coupled with a deteriorated health which led him to commit suicide we never can tell with dolphins. But the fact remains that all didn’t end well for Peter or the entire experiment.

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