Frogs and toads are usually considered to be lazy, harmless amphibians that live in ponds and backyards. You wouldn’t think they could kill you, would you?
Oh, but they can – psychoactive toads like the Cane Toad, River toad and Sonoran desert toad all carry within their skin a bufotoxin called bufotenine.
The effects of this chemical include a psychedelic feeling similar to LSD; Homer Simpson famously licked toads to be sent on some pretty outlandish trips, and the same is true in real life too.
Not only that, they also contain a cardiotoxic steroid which in high doses can cause heart failure, seizures and death. [via gizmodo]
Bizarrely, many a dog has experienced dangerous highs thanks to their curiosity regarding these amphibians. They can also kill your pet if the pooches bite into the skin a little too much.
With regards to humans, there are hippie factions dedicated to licking these psychoactive frogs. The Church of the Toad of The Light is one such group, whose somewhat defunct website includes instructions from 1983 on how to catch and milk a Sonoran desert toad.
They detail how to obtain the milk and dry the venom, which apparently removes the deadly toxicity of these animals but keeps the high.
Once dried it can then be smoked and bring about what the website describes as “a complex chemical event characterised by an overload of thoughts and perception, a brief collapse of the EGO, and loss of the space-time continuum.” Yeah, count us out.
Vice also explored other groups who see toad licking as a viable high, including a tribe in the Amazon who lick the backs of a highly poisonous bright green tree frog called Sapo.
They use the frogs to bring about a morphine-like effect which at first makes you vomit like crazy, but eventually can cause an amazing feeling in your body.
It’s probably best to not try to lick a common garden frog in the UK since they are not as toxic as the cane toad and other within that family. Let’s just say if you were to attempt a frog milking here, you won’t be going on a journey through space and time anytime soon.
Frogs – who knew?