Why Experts Are Warning Against The TikTok Frog Breeding Trend

A number of recent trends spreading like wildfire among the young and old alike got their start on the social media app known as TikTok, as Vogue Business explains. With an estimated 1 billion users each month (based on recent estimates, via CNBC) there's nothing wrong with a fresh dance craze, or with a new song popularized through the TikTok app. However, there's one potential U.K.-based TikTok trend, in particular, that has experts worried, according to The Guardian.

This isn't the first time that content creators have helped launch an ill-advised trend through the platform. Some other examples of don't-try-this-at-home TikTok videos include the corn cob challenge, in which participants try to eat an ear of corn as it spins on a drill. (Look out, because you just might chip a tooth, according to the New York Post). Although posting footage to TikTok of frogs in your backyard may seem innocent enough, it's the sheer quantity of the creatures at up to 10 million that is alarming conservation biologists.

It's a frog army

This specific TikTok controversy began when a U.K.-based TikTok user who goes only by thinfrog explained he rescued more than a million tadpoles from nearby dried-up ponds, raising them instead in a small man-made pool in his backyard, as the Metro notes. With nearly 2 million followers, 400 million views, nearly 20 million cumulative likes (via the Metro), thinfrog TikTok posts are available to view now on the platform, but please, keep reading before you try a similar stunt on your own.

What concerns wildlife biologists most is that once fully grown, those frogs naturally escape the content creator's backyard to invade and overpopulate the surrounding area, which can lead to dire ecological consequences. As a conservation biologist at the Center for Biological Diversity told The Guardian "Instead of helping, [these TikTok users] are actually hurting the animals they're releasing and all the animals in the environment that they're releasing them into ... It makes me cringe," Curry said.

Is it even real, though?

As of this report, there's no hard evidence that the TikTok frog army trend will catch on beyond comments on the videos from viewers inquiring how they might try something similar on their property (via The Guardian). There's also some question as to whether or not the purported "frog army" is even real. As the Metro goes on to explain, the sheer number of tadpoles surviving is unlikely. There's also some question about whether the locations pictured on TikTok are in the U.S. or in the U.K., among other inconsistencies.

As marine biologist and researcher for BBC Wildlife Dawood Qureshi told the Metro, though, "Breeding that many frogs is definitely not good for the environment." And as The Guardian goes on to report, releasing that many frogs into the wildlife may even be illegal in your area. As U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Chris Nagano told The Guardian "It's the law of unintended consequences ... I have no doubt this person may have thought he was doing a good thing, but he may actually be driving these populations to extinction."