Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Disgusting yet oddly fascinating

In The Times on Tuesday (April 26) there was a report about exploding frogs in Hamburg, Germany. Yes, that’s correct…exploding frogs. It seems that during the day, the frogs do the normal frog activities: hopping about, croaking, and eating flies. After nightfall, however, they suddenly start to swell to three times their normal size, expanding until they burst. And, evidently, ‘their entrails are expelled distances of up to one metre.’ One wildlife expert likened the explosion to ‘hitting a slightly rotten orange with a golf iron.’

Scientists don’t yet seem to know why these German frogs are popping. One explanation is that the frogs are infected with some type of virus or bacteria although water samples taken from the so-called ‘Pond of Death’ show no signs of obvious bacteria or pollution. Another explanation is that a new breed of aggressive crows has been attacking the frogs. Scientists fear that the swelling-up defence mechanism the frogs use then gets out of control.

You know, every day I seem to find something new to fear. I mean, what type of person goes about hitting slightly rotten oranges with golf irons?


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