Exploding toads puzzle German scientists

Despite going by ‘Mutantfrog’ online, I feel I’ve been neglecting coverage of my namesake animals. To rectify this problem I’ve just added a category on the right. Anura is the name for the order of amphibians which includes both frogs and toads, which will both get mentioned once in a while.

More than 1,000 creatures have puffed up and popped
The Associated Press
Updated: 12:43 p.m. ET April 27, 2005

BERLIN – More than 1,000 toads have puffed up and exploded in a Hamburg pond in recent weeks, and scientists still have no explanation for what’s causing the combustion, an official said Wednesday.

Both the pond’s water and body parts of the toads have been tested, but scientists have been unable to find a bacteria or virus that would cause the toads to swell up and pop, said Janne Kloepper, of the Hamburg-based Institute for Hygiene and the Environment.

“It’s absolutely strange,” she said. “We have a really unique story here in Hamburg. This phenomenon really doesn’t seem to have appeared anywhere before.”

The toads at a pond in the upscale neighborhood of Altona have been blowing up since the beginning of the month, filling up like balloons until their stomachs suddenly burst.

“It looks like a scene from a science-fiction movie,” Werner Schmolnik, the head of a local environment group, told the Hamburger Abendblatt daily. “The bloated animals suffer for several minutes before they finally die.”

Biologists have come up with several theories, but Kloepper said that most have been ruled out.

The pond’s water quality is no better or worse than other bodies of water in Hamburg, the toads did not appear to have a disease, and a laboratory in Berlin has ruled out the possibility that it is a fungus that made its way from South America, she said.

She said that tests will continue. In the meantime, city residents have been warned to stay away from the pond.

3 thoughts on “Exploding toads puzzle German scientists”

  1. Totally wrong forum to post this, but MF, listen up. Over at the Marmot’s Hole some guy just said this:


    Comment #16: “Taiwan was an island populated heavily by non-Chinese aborogines who welcomed Japan’s modernization of the island.”

    Excuse me?!

    See what I mean about this bozos dredging up any unsubstantiated bullsh*t they can find to support some ludicrous claim? I don’t know why anyone takes these people seriously.

  2. If by “populated” you mean “some lived there” and by “welcomed Japan’s modernization of the island” you mean “cheered with joy as the Japanese soldiers massacred their kinsmen and raped their women” then he is in fact entirely correct.

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