For 25 years a carton of milk has putresced in MIT’s Random Hall residence. On campus and beyond, “the Milk”, as it has come to be known, has celebrity status. Bought in 1994, “the Milk” was stuck into the dorm’s shared fridge, where it sat unopened.

10 months later, students were cleaning out the fridge and came across “the Milk” with an expiration date of Oct. 20 — but not the year. It was put back into the refrigerator, it being thought that it was still good for a while. The original purchaser remembered when he bought it and decided to keep “the Milk” around until October to celebrate its one-year expiration “birthday”.

Shortly after its 1st birthday, the students at Random Hall decided to enter the carton of milk, labelled “Purity”, into MIT’s “Ugliest Manifestation on Campus” contest, an annual charity fund-raiser usually reserved for human applicants only — not putrid, curdled liquids.

It went on to win that year, launching it and the dormitory into a whole new level of 'greatness'. It won in 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2003. In 2014, “the Milk” applied to MIT; a 22-page admissions form was submitted as if written by “the Milk” itself, complete with information about its cultural background (white and homogenous), work and educational experience, scholastic distinctions, and hobbies.

“The Milk” has its own cupboard on the 4th floor of Random Hall, marked “Milk, Themilk,” the name used on its admissions application. Each year, it comes out for its birthday.

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