Exploding toads in a pond in Hamburg, Germany, baffle scientists
Thursday, April 28, 2005
BERLIN - More than 1,000 toads have puffed up and exploded in a Hamburg pond in recent weeks, and German scientists have no explanation for what's causing the combustion.
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 Wednesday. "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, and the toads did not appear to have a disease, she said. A laboratory in Berlin has ruled out the possibility that it is a fungus that made its way from South America, Kloepper said.
She said that tests will continue. In the meantime, city residents have been warned to stay away from the pond.
Thousands of toads are also exploding in central Denmark, according to Danish news media, following earlier news that they were exploding northern Germany. Environmental factors or an unknown disease may cause the phenomenon.
Biblical plague, extraterrestrial bacteria, or climate changes? Thousands of toads are exploding across northern Germany and central Denmark, baffled animal experts report.
In Denmark, hundreds of toads have begun to explode near a lake in the town of Låsby in Mid-Jutland. According to reports, the toads climb on to land, swell to up to three times their normal size, and burst, casting their innards up to one meter in the air, the Coppenhagen Post reports.
A similar phenomenon has also been reported in the German city of Hamburg, where authorities report that over 1000 toads are dead.
Experts are at a loss to explain what is causing the toads' painful deaths, which primarily take place between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.
Frank Jensen, curator of Denmark's Museum of Natural History, said to Denmark's TV2 that the mysterious deaths likely had an earthly explanation, namely toxins found in fertilizers or changes in the ozone layer.
The Danish Meteorological Institute warned yesterday of increased ozone radiation reaching Denmark. Amphibians such as toads and frogs are known to be sensitive to slight environmental changes.
While German authorities surmise that the gruesome deaths are caused by bacterial or viral infection, they were still confounded by the incident.
"I have never seen anything like this," said veterinarian Otto Holst.
"Great leaping horned toads, this exploding toad thing appears to be spreading. I'm hope the scientists figure this out quickly. Inflating to three-and-a-half times your size and then exploding is no way for any creature to die, let's hope it will not spread to California...
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The explanation is simple. This condition is caused by toads drinking first vodka and then beer. A very dangerous combination when taken by humans but when ingested by amphibians absolutely lethal. The solution is also simple. The female toads must hide the shoes of the male toads so that they cannot leave the nest at night. This will certainly cut down on the number of toads going 'pop' between 2 and 3 am.
Also the toads in Denmark are actually German illegal immmigrant toads sneaking into Denmark in the early hours of the morning. This is causing a false impression that the Danish toads are also in trouble.
I hope that helps to clear all this up.
Australians are probably willing to pay good money for information about ways to make toads explode - particularly if it works on Bufo Marinus (also called Cane Toad).
-beats hitting them with hokey sticks, golf clubs, baseball bats, cricket bats, shovels, spades, etc.....
The liver of this particular toad is a delicacy to certain birds of the region and they have learned to extricate the liver in one quick stroke with out vicerating the toad, the toad lives for some time ahter he is gored and his liver is removed, however with out a liver the toad's internal organs start blowing up till they explode, wow what a mess just imagine if you were a realy tall toad!
Yes, I read about this, that can be one of the reasons. Another reason could be toxic waste, or some kind of radiation. This particular week this happened the news had warned about higher radiation. Scientists are looking in to it, but so far no conclusion.