Hoax Alert: Colorado Teen Did NOT Contract Virus After Licking Frog At Party

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

Today's hoax story making the rounds is about 'Sammy Blythe', a 17-year old teen from Colorado. Supposedly he was at this party or rave and because he misplaced his ecstasy pills he allegedly walked down to a river and licked a toad because one species, 'Bufo alvarius' (also known as the Colorado River Toad) secretes bufotenine (aka 5-meO-DMT), a substance that can give you hallucinations.

According to the story, the next morning he woke up with a rough, swollen tongue. Doctors at St. Francis Medical Center emergency room supposedly told him this was a side effect of licking 'average river toads', and sent him home with antibiotics and an order to "say no to drugs".


(Image: Now8News)

So, how do we know this story is fake:

Black hairy tongue - Mayo Clinic

Don't be fooled like all the people sharing this story on social media right now:

  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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