For some reason, the National Park Service felt the need to post a warning about toxic (and psychedelic toads).
Well, I guess the reason is pretty clear...
People have been licking toads to get high.
The warning was posted on Facebook last week, and they're specifically warning visitors of one particularly groovy toad – the Sonoran Desert Toad, also known as the Colorado River Toad.
To emphasize the importance of their warning, the post starts with: "Well that's toad-ally terrifying…. 🐸"
The agency continued:
Hey there! Here is the "ribbiting" late night content no one asked for. Yet here we are. 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).
What sound does it make? Its call has been described as a "weak, low-pitched toot, lasting less than a second." Was that the toad or did something startle you?
These toads have prominent parotoid glands that secrete a potent toxin. It can make you sick if you handle the frog or get the poison in your mouth. As we say with most things you come across in a national park, whether it be a banana slug, unfamiliar mushroom, or a large toad with glowing eyes in the dead of night, please refrain from licking. Thank you. Toot!
Image: Black and white motion sensor camera capture of Sonoran Desert Toad staring into your soul at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona.National Park Service / Facebook
Not only can these toads make people sick, but they always contain 5-MeO-DMT, which is a hallucinogenic substance.
While the toads can lead to a trip, the National Capital Poison Center says it can also "cause severe irritation, pain, and tissue damage." A lick or two can cause "numbness of the mouth and throat as well as severe and life-threatening effects on the heart."
The agency warns:
These effects include irregular rhythm of the heart, heart block, reduced blood pressure, and cardiac arrest. These severe effects can also occur after absorption through the skin.