Sep 12 2013

Herpetologists in mourning everywhere

Poor frog.



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  1. 1

    I’ve heard people claim this is actually a frog climbing up a big movie screen…

    I prefer to think it was just flying away from the site of danger…

    yes, in my world, frogs fly.


  2. 2

    That’s awful.

  3. 3

    from the link:

    It’s easy to assume that Rocket Frog died a painful and fiery death shortly after this moment was captured, but maybe he didn’t. Maybe Rocket Frog never returned to the ground at all.

    Rocket frog, burning out his fuse up here alone

    And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time ‘til touch down brings me round again to find I’m not the frog they think I am at home
    Oh no, no, no, I’m a rocket frog

  4. 4


    And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time ‘til touch down brings me round again to find I’m not the frog they think I am at home

    Oh, stop! You are not helping. Poor rocket frog.

  5. 5

    Icarus the poliwog dreamed
    of not just legs but wings
    and left his earthly things.

    I hope he didn’t suffer.
    Or her.

  6. 6
  7. 7

    NASA says it’s a real pic.

  8. 8
    Bob Myers

    Maybe it’s Mr. Toad?

  9. 9
    Gerry Porter

    Clearly a NASA false frog operation. Here is the unretouched version.

  10. 10

    would certainly be a wild ride.

  11. 11

    Here is the unretouched version.

    …baby, my heart’s on fire.


  12. 12


  13. 13
    Al Dente

    If you’re going to go, then do it in a blaze of glory (or rocket fuel, as the case may be).

  14. 14
    Jafafa Hots

    Wasn’t there a similar pic from a launch within the last year or two of a different sort of critter?

    Oh yeah, now I remember, it was a bat, I think hanging on to the external shuttle tank.

  15. 15

    What species centered fools, you are, you don’t think frogs can do the rapture too?

  16. 16

    Some people call me space froggy…

  17. 17

    …some people call me the frog-gangster of love…

  18. 18


  19. 19

    One small hop for frog; one giant leap for frogkind

  20. 20

    “Not bird nor plane nor even frog…”

  21. 21


    haven’t thought about underdog in ages.

  22. 22

    Ichthyic is being meeeeeeeeeaaaaaaan to me!

  23. 23

    *whistles nonchalantly*

    I could use a nice Chianti right about now…

  24. 24

    Ichthyic the terrible…

    Red or white?

  25. 25
    Jafafa Hots

    Actually, considering scale, that frog is probably only ten to 20 feet up at most, close to the cam and far from the rocket. Lifted by the shock wave probably.
    Swampy there, maybe froggy survived the air blast and landed nice and wet and is OK with a story to tell.

  26. 26

    I was gonna say red, but doesn’t frog more resemble chicken in texture and flavour?

    better make it white.

  27. 27

    Swampy there, maybe froggy survived the air blast and landed nice and wet and is OK with a story to tell.

    possible. they do seem to be able to survive falling shock pretty well.

  28. 28

    Chilling, pop over later :-)

    Caine, we have some lovely canapés, please join us ;-)

  29. 29
    procrastinator will get an avatar real soon now

    In the original (from comment 9) it looks like a scuba diver with a video camera was blown out of the blast pit. Prolly a Syrian spy.

  30. 30

    Actually, it depends where the camera was. For Apollo, NASA had cameras on and around the launch pad as well as very distant. Lets hope this was a distant one…

    Jafafa Hots –

    Actually, considering scale, that frog is probably only ten to 20 feet up at most, close to the cam and far from the rocket

  31. 31

    In the original (from comment 9)


    that’s not the original.

  32. 32
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    ♪♫ Ground control to Major Frog… ♫♪

  33. 33


  34. 34
    Richard Smith

    Perhaps it’s an Integral Tree frog?

  35. 35


    Caine, we have some lovely canapés, please join us ;-)

    Oh, no. You’ll have cuisses de grenouille, I know it.

  36. 36


    I was going to make that suggestion…

    I also suspect that the frog was probably already dead when the picture as taken – or could it have survived being ripped off the ground by a shockwave that lifts them 20 feet in the air, while being lightly toasted over an open flame?

  37. 37

    now I’m hungry.

  38. 38
    chigau (違う)

    I don’t believe that’s a frog.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    chigau (違う)


  41. 41

    those guys did some bizarre stuff back in the 70s.

    just so Bill doesn’t feel all alone, here’s Leonard to tell us all about… hobbits?

  42. 42
    Martin Wagner

    I’m guessing he croaked upon landing.

  43. 43

    Not a frog, to quote the Lizard King it’s “… squirming like a toad”

  44. 44

    Ground control to Rocket Frog
    Ground control to Rocket Frog
    Take your protein pills and put your helmet on
    Ground control to Rocket Frog
    Commencing countdown, engines on
    Check ignition and may gods love be with you…

    This is ground control to Rocket Frog, you’ve really… wait…
    Rocket Frog?
    Ground control to Rocket Frog?
    Houston, we have a problem.

    And he had God’s love and everything!

  45. 45
    spamamander, internet amphibian

    A moment of silence for a fellow amphibian.

    Maybe that’s why the little tree froggie was on my back door when I got home tonight… he was having a memorial.

  46. 46

    sittin’ up here
    watchin’ all the lights blink down below
    the earth is turning why does it go so slow
    thinkin’ bout the frogs I left behind
    Houston can you hear me
    or have I lost my mind

    why me?
    why me?

    I was waitin on my lilly-pad
    all systems were go
    the man up in the tower was enjoying the show
    then I got this feeling that I never had before
    hey let me out of here what am I here fo’

    why me?
    why me?

    there must be a thousand other guys
    must be some other way to look good in your eyes
    why am I up here, what do they see in me
    must be a thousand other places to be

    why me

    the last man to be here was never heard from again
    he won’t be back this way ’til 3010…
    and now I’m riding on a fountain of fire
    with my back to the earth I go higher and higher
    why me?

  47. 47

    The frog song from botanicula..

  48. 48

    Of course, everyone here is suitably aware and similarly aghast at the wildlife toll that has been happening over at Cape Canaveral since the late ’50s, and are completely aware of how (post)modern (obligatory wink) photographic technology can obtain lots of detail of how violent a rocket launch can be…as if none of us knew how violent it can in fact be near the base of every big rocket launch, including those that place earth-observing satellites into orbit to help us understand how we wreck the planet. Right?

  49. 49

    Aware, yes. Aghast, no.

    After all, I do radar astronomy. And given what a few hundred watts of UHF does to a bee, you could say that I use the world’s most powerful bug zappers. The transmitter at Arecibo frequently fries birds. Every so often, somebody has to go out there with a sticky pad on the end of a stick and lift the debris off of the tertiary.

  50. 50

    nobody knows how violent a rocket launch can be better than… Rocket Frog.

  51. 51

    I’m guessing he croaked upon landing.

    I can’t believe it took 42 comments to get to that one. ;)

  52. 52

    that’s because most of us thought he croaked on liftoff.

  53. 53

    …check out some of the posts on the link PZ gave.

    one of them has Rocket Frog leaving the explosion of the Hindenburg….

    coincidence? I THINK NOT!

  54. 54
    Alex the Pretty Good


  55. 55

    Froggie must be alive, he just posted on the grenade thread, but his thoughts may be a little disordered.

  56. 56
    David Marjanović


    + 1

  57. 57

    6.0 (from the Russian judge who thinks Mr. Amphibian didn’t stick the landing)

  58. 58


    …check out some of the posts on the link PZ gave.

    one of them has Rocket Frog leaving the explosion of the Hindenburg….

    Oh? I heard that that was a huge manatee…

  59. 59
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Is it just me or does the poor frog look a little like Pearl Jam’s stick guy?

  60. 60
    Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach

    @ Jafafa Hots #14,

    That would be Space Bat. RIP Space Bat, 03/15/09, we will never forget you.

    Looking at this just reminds me of Kerbal Space Program. I’m sure that frog is making the same face my Kerbals made just before they went boom.

  61. 61

    Say hello to Space Bat for us froggy.

  62. 62

    I am *bree-reep* heartbroken

  63. 63

    Froggy went a courtin and he did ride, uh huh, uh huh.
    Froggy went a courtin and he did ride, uh huh, uh huh.
    Froggy tried to impress his bride,
    so he done jumped from his rocket ride, uh huh, uh huh

  64. 64

    First-approximation photogrammetry: Let’s assume the frog is ordinary-frog-sized, at most the size of a stairway riser. And let’s assume that the stairway we can see in that gantry tower is built to human scale. On my computer, the frog is about the size of the arrow cursor, and the cursor covers about four or five steps on the stairway. So I conclude the steps are about four or five times farther away from the camera than the frog. That makes the frog’s distance to the camera about 25-25% of the distance to the rocket.

    The tower is 18 fights of steps tall and there are 12 steps in each flight. If a step is 6″, then the tower is approximately 100 feet tall. The top story has distinctly different perspective; it looks like roughly a 45° angle of inclination, which puts the tower roughly 100 feet away from the camera. So the frog was ~20 feet away from the camera and ~80 feet from the rocket … but that needs adjustment for vertical angles, so the frog was probably farther away from the rocket when the picture was taken. But that says nothing about where it was when it got blasted.

    Time for a trip to Google Earth for aerial photograph and to NASA for dimensions on the tower. Then to Second Life to see if I can reproduce the geometry.

    I don’t think the frog got toasted. The rocket is hot, but there’s plastic bits and plants and stuff all over. We’d see big black toasty areas around all the launch sites.

  65. 65

    one of the articles pointed out that the reason the frog was likely there to begin with, is that there is a small man made “lake” on top of the launchpad to protect it.

    it is quite possible the initial blast wave’s heat was dissipated by water, and the shockwave lifted the frog before it could be cooked.

    someone should go out there and look for it!


  66. 66

    …OK, I admit it, I was hoping to see a person-shape flying in front of the next blast wave.

    shame on me.

  67. 67
    Acolyte of Sagan

    Why do I look at that frog and see a metaphor for Dawkins’ reputation?

  68. 68

    It has the square-cube law working for it in a fall, and should be totally fine (if uncooked) falling from 20 ft or so.

  69. 69

    Yeah – I bet it survived. If it had been killed outright by the initial blast it would not have had that nice angle of attack. It must have been thrown much higher and farther than 20 feet, though – more like several hundred yards. Landing safely would have been the main problem, but they’re pretty resilient.

  70. 70
    Doug Hudson

    Even if Space Frog did die, in doing so he or she achieved immortality.

    AchillesSpace Frog, would you want to live a long life and die forgotten, or die young and be remembered forever?”

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