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Yep, we’re being entirely serious here. New research has shown that an old Russian practice of putting frogs into a bucket of milk to keep it from spoiling may actually be right on the money. In fact, frogs may even be the key to finding a new source of antibiotics for humans.

Still skeptical? Keep reading to find out more!

This writer happens to be a fan of frogs in general, and enjoys collecting cute frog figurines and plushies. But would I go as far as to drink a glass of milk served with a slippery green friend? Probably not. Better leave that one to the princess in the fairy tale…

▼I think we can all agree that it’s much more appealing to dunk an Oreo frog into your glass of milk rather than an actual frog.

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Apparently though, that’s exactly what some Russians used to do to keep their milk from spoiling. Electrical refrigerators have only been around since the 1930s, after all. Before then was the era of the icebox, during which the ice trade became a lucrative profession (as you’ll know if you’ve seen Disney’s Frozen). But not all Russians owned their own iceboxes, and at some point someone came up the incredibly random idea of plopping a frog into the milk to preserve it!

While this practice has often been dismissed as an old wive’s tale in the modern day, a research team at Moscow State University in 2012 found some truth to it.

The substance that is secreted from the skin of frogs is rich in antibacterial and antifungal properties, which is what delays the spoiling of milk. Furthermore, the chemical makeup of these secretions is different within every species of frog, an example of nature fine-tuning the frogs’ defense mechanisms to harmonize with their local habitats.

While that scientific trivia is cool enough in itself, the news gets even better. The antibacterial agents found within the frogs’ secretions could even contain the potential to be used in antibiotics for humans! Check out this explanation from the website Today I Found Out:

“After isolating these compounds, [the scientists] began testing them against various bacterial infections. For example, the dreaded “Iraqibacter,” a drug-resistant bacterial infection that has been known to hit wounded soldiers in Iraq could (once again, potentially) be fought with a compound found in the skin of a mink frog that are native to North America. Secretions from a foothill four-legged frog may have the potential to fight the well-known resistant MRSA staph skin infection.”

Pretty cool, huh? More research is still needed to explore the medicinal potential of “frog antibiotics,” but it seems promising for now.

On a side note, even if you’re personally not a fan of the slimy amphibians, you might find it interesting to know that frogs are viewed in a positive light in many cultures. In Japan, for example, frogs are considered to be symbols of good luck. This idea partly stems from the fact that the Japanese word for frog is kaeru (カエル), which happens to be a homophone for the verb “to return/go back” (返る). Supposedly, keeping a frog (either a pet or a charm) around will help you “get back” all of the things you’ve lost, including money!

▼My own Japanese good-luck frog. Isn’t he cute?

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Since we’re guessing that most people reading this article online also have access to a refrigerator, you probably won’t be needing to try the frog-in-milk solution anytime soon. But it’s good to know in a pinch!

Sources: Hachima Kiko, Gizmodo, Today I Found Out
Images: Today I Found OutMade to be a Momma, RocketNews24