USA’s National Park Service (NPS) has warned people to keep their mouths and tongues away from a psychedelic but toxic toad.
Well damn, there go my weekend plans.
The NPS posted to their Facebook cautioning people about the Sonoran Desert toad, alongside a terrifyingly hilarious photo of the little creature. Judging by their post, the NPS knows how to get some good chat off.
“Well that’s toad-ally terrifying,” the post starts.
“Here is the “ribbiting” late-night content no one asked for. The Sonoran desert toad (Bufo alvarius), also known as the Colorado river toad, is one of the largest toads found in North America, measuring nearly 7 inches (18 cm).”
“As we say with most things you come across in a national park, whether it be a banana slug, an unfamiliar mushroom, or a large toad with glowing eyes in the dead of night, please refrain from licking.”
It’s unclear if toad-licking is an actual problem in the United States, but with the way things are going over there, I wouldn’t be surprised.
What is an apparent ‘problem’ though, is people smoking toad-mate’s toxins. The Oakland Zoo say that “humans have exploited the toxin as a psychedelic.”
Earlier in the year, the New York Times reported that demand for the toad had increased, with people paying from US$250 (NZ$414) to US$8,500 (NZ$14,100) to have a hit of the stuff.
One Navy SEAL who was battling with depression and tried every treatment under the sun said that smoking that toad saved him.
“I saw why they call this the ‘God Molecule’,” he said of the toad’s toxins. “I got a full central nervous system reset”.
Other people have described their trip on the stuff (which is supervised by a shaman and taken under safe conditions) as a "religious experience".
If you're doubting those accounts, take another look at the photo of that toad and tell me it doesn’t feel like you’re staring right into the face of God.