Warehouse B
Page Two
Page 3

Mystery Of The Falling Frogs


By James Donahue


We were watching a film in the Independent network the other day and caught a strange incident where all of the characters were caught outside when it began to rain frogs.


That was some of the strangest video footage I have seen in years . . . thousands of large fat frogs falling out of the sky and going splat on car windows, house roofs, sidewalks and even people’s heads.


While dramatic to watch, it was strange to think that we have seen news reports from various parts of the world that told of real frog falls, and that this strange event on film, while obviously fictionalized, has really happened.


In June of 2005, residents of Odzaci, Serbia, watched in amazement when storm clouds dropped thousands of tiny frogs on their town. Even stranger, there was no water in the fall. Just little frogs. The tiny amphibians seemed to survive the fall and they were hopping all over the place, probably as confused about what had just happened to them as the people  of Odzaci were to have them there.


In May, 1981, people in Naphlion, Greece, woke up one morning to find small green frogs falling on their town. The tiny things landed in trees and dropped on the streets. Like the frogs that fell in Odzaci, these animals did not seem harmed by the fall and hopped around. People said they were so tiny they only weighed a few ounces each. The frog was later found to be a species native to North Africa.


Old news clippings say that Minneapolis, Minnesota, was pelted by both frogs and toads that fell from storm clouds in July, 1901. People who witnessed it said there was a heavy rain storm occurring, and then, they watched as what looked like a large green mass dropped down on them from the clouds overhead. When it arrived it was comprised of thousands of frogs and toads. When the fall was over, the animals covered a four square block area of town and were stacked about three inches deep. Observers said there was a wide variety of all kinds of both frogs and toads in the pile.


Yet another fall of frogs occurred in Cario, Illinois, in 1883. The local newspaper said that after a night storm, people awoke in the morning to find the decks of the steamboats Success and Elliot, both moored at the Mississippi levee, covered with small green frogs about an inch in length. They said the spars, lines, trees and fences in the area were literally alive with frogs. Also the lights from the watchman’s lantern were obscured by the critters.


This writer was driving down a paved county road in Michigan, in the midst of an unusually heavy rainfall one dark night when I noticed that my headlights were picking up something odd in the road. Whatever it was seemed to be moving so I stopped to take a closer look. There were small frogs all over the road and on the shoulders and in the grassy fields on both sides of the road. There was no explanation for their presence there except to think they had fallen with the rain that night.


Every time you see a story about an unnatural phenomenon like a frog fall, you usually find that the writer of the story attempts to get a scientific explanation for what occurred. There is always someone around who will say that the frogs were picked up by a tornado or an unusually strong wind and carried through the sky for miles before they are dropped on some unsuspecting town.


But when you think about it, that is not a very good explanation. I grew up playing around little ponds and streams where frogs are found. Other than watching frog eggs hatch into hundreds of tiny tadpoles, I have never seen thousands of frogs gathered in one place at the same time.


Anybody who has been around ponds like that know that birds and other natural predators quickly gobble up most of the tadpoles so very few of them survive long enough to become frogs. And if a tornado did pick up all of the frogs in a single pond or stream, their numbers would be perhaps a few dozen at best, and they would not all be the same size and same species.


And the story of both frogs and toads dropping down on Minneapolis cannot be explained away by saying a tornado did it. Frogs and toads may look similar, but they are rarely found in the same place.