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Toads exploding in Germany

Apr 26, 2005 — Ok, this is definitely a topic-worthy news headline. According to the BBC, toads in Germany have begun to explode. Nobody knows why.

Dylan says:

Maybe some kids dumped a few bottles of Alka-Selzter into the pond? I really can't imagine what it would be like to have a toad start hopping toward you, swell up like a baloon, and then explode.

The toads' entrails are propelled for up to a metre (3.2ft), in scenes that have been likened to science fiction.


lyrical warfare says:

Thousands of the amphibians have died in recent days...

Thousands? That's a lot of exploding toads!

I wonder what would happen if a human ate an exploding toad...

CJO says:

This sounds like one of the interwoven plot lines in a Dirk Pitt novel. Something odd starts happening in a body of water somewhere in the world (in this case exploding frogs) in one plot line while a evil corporation is machinating somewhere else and Pitt is just meeting another hot, female scientist in a third place.

What I'm saying is that within a few weeks someone like Pitt and an oceanographer that looks like Jessica Alba are going to find out that Microsoft caused this whole mess with the frogs.

DataBind() says:

The TCO for Microsoft frogs is far lower than that of open-source frogs.

Clearly, the Germans share the EU's dislike of Microsoft, and have opted for the lower quality amphibians.

DataBind() says:

Filed Under: Religion, Weird

Hah -- classic

jpwain says:

DataBind: Even if these frogs didn't want to be open-source, they are now. Boom!

DataBind() says:

Hey, it's not easy being green....

dcormier says:

(Fred Kwan has tested the "digital conveyor" teleportation device on a pig-lizard that was chasing Jason Nesmith.)
Jason: What was that?
Alex: Uh, nothing.
Jason: I heard some squealing or something.
Gwen: No, everything is fine.
Teb: But - the animal is inside out.
Jason: I heard that! It got turned inside out?
(The pig-lizard bursts, spattering the area with gore.)
Teb: And it exploded.
Jason: Did I just hear that the animal turned inside out and then EXPLODED?
Gwen: Um... hold, please.

DataBind() says:

"pig-lizard" is a word you don't hear enough these days.

lyrical warfare says:

jpwain says:

The explosions usually happen at night but environmental officials are warning people to watch out for toad blasts in parks.

Oh, the humanity!

DataBind() says:

wait until insurgents start lobbing exploding frogs at U.S. Servicemen.

I'm sure this is an Al Quida plot....

DataBind() says:

Wirehead says:

That is so bizarre.

It seems like they're talking about a pretty short time-frame as well - it's not like the thing slowly gets bigger for a couple of days and then the stomach ruptures - they're talking about something RAPID, which to my mind rules out most biological processes. Maybe someone left a bunch of baking soda sitting around, and the pondwater is acidic.

DataBind() says:

They said that the pond water wasn't abnormal. Surely they tested the PH.

DataBind() says:

I think it must be aliens.

lyrical warfare says:

Wait, apparantly a veterinarian says the toads are exploding because crows are pecking out their livers. That doesn't jive... is this like the first time crows have ever eaten frog livers?

Another point of interest: toads are starting to explode in Denmark as well.

jpwain says:

First it's the toads, then it's rabbits and wood-hens, then it's small dogs, sheep and porcupines! Soon it'll be horses and bobcats and and sloths and hippopotami and pretty soon we'll be seeing huge gysers of water errupting around the western seaports as whales and giant sea clams roll over and blast skyward!

If small amphibians are ejecting their innards as much as a meter... that means a whale can fire an intestinal cannon as much as... approximately 340 miles (1,800,000 feet)!

This is assuming a toad weighs a half pound and a great blue whale weighs something like 150 tons. {thanks, Wirehead!}


Wirehead says:

I think exploding porcupines would be the point where I'd flee. I mean... that's like an airburst artillery shell.

rnewhouse says:

I understand there is an interstellar bypass scheduled to begin construction at midnight tonight...

DataBind() says:

I better stock up on beer and peanuts.

Wirehead says:

So, Joe and I have come to the conclusion that this epidemic of exploding animals could result in the end of the world, if not the solar system.

We determined that further investigation was required to avert a catastrophe of mythical proportions, and bent our wills to solving the problem of just HOW MUCH DAMAGE it could do if the problem of exploding amphibians spread to the larger animal kingdom, thusly:

[16:11] Joe: If a toad explodes and blasts its guts 1 meter, how far do whale guts fly? Proportional to volume or weight let's assume
[16:13] Joe: How much does a toad weigh? Christ
[16:13] Joe: damn encarta
[16:14] Wirehead: Well.. obviously this'd have to be an approximation. I mean, I don't have any idea how to compare the tensile strength of whale skin vs. toad skin, and that's the major determining factor in the pressure either can contain
[16:14] Joe: Let's assume differences in diet and flesh composition negate any variation in tensile strength
[16:15] Wirehead: Fair enough. Then you're just talking about a linear comparison of "so many pounds of flesh equals so much explosive force".
[16:15] Joe: Yes
[16:15] Wirehead: Your average toad is maybe a half pound, for a decently large one.
[16:15] Wirehead: What kind of whale are we talking?
[16:15] Joe: Fine, that's about what I was estimating
[16:15] Joe: Well, let's assume all manner of sea life will be detonating at some point
[16:15] Joe: So, what, the great blue?
[16:15] Wirehead: probably
[16:15] Wirehead: Might as well go for the gusto
[16:16] Joe: Avoid narwhals or sea cows
[16:16] Wirehead: I'm going to guess at 110 tons from memory, then check it
[16:16] Joe: 192 tons
[16:16] Wirehead: Not bad! - it says average weight for an adult is 100-150 tons
[16:16] Joe: Excellent!
[16:16] Joe: Let's figure 125 tons then
[16:16] Wirehead: Roger.
[16:17] Wirehead: So, if we assume a half-pound toad can propel entrails approximately, what, half a meter?
[16:17] Joe: CNN said a full meter (3.2 feet)
[16:17] Wirehead: No shit?
[16:17] Wirehead: That kicks ass
[16:17] Joe: Link!
[16:17] Wirehead: Well... this whale is going to end up being more potent than Hiroshima, I can tell already
[16:17] Joe: These amphibians are fucking serious!
[16:18] Joe: On with the calulations then
[16:18] Wirehead: maximum distance would be 150*2000*3= 900,000 feet
[16:18] Joe: half pound times times two yields a full pound times 2000 for a ton times 124
[16:18] Wirehead: Er, scuze me. Throw in a *2 there
[16:18] Wirehead: 1,800,000 feet
[16:19] Joe: Jesus christ
[16:19] Wirehead: Blast radius of ~340.9 miles
[16:19] Wirehead: Explosive power would be... like... ELE
[16:20] Joe: Updated my post
[16:20] Wirehead: Total diameter of explosion call it 680 miles, giving... fuck. I mean, "..."
[16:20] Wirehead: Lemme check something
[16:20] Wirehead: Blast radius increases as the cube root of yield... so... eh...
[16:21] Joe: hahahahaha
[16:22] Joe: So like 2000 kilotons
[16:22] Wirehead: Therefore, a blue whale would have a yield equivalent to that of a thermonuclear device rated at ...
[16:22] Wirehead: no, no no. CUBE ROOT, man
[16:22] Wirehead: Double your blast radius means 4x the yield
[16:23] Joe: Oops, I was doing diameter
[16:23] Joe: So 340 miles times 5280 feet divided by 1800 would roughly yield kilotons, yeah?
[16:24] Wirehead: Thinking
[16:24] Wirehead: I'm converting back to metric, though
[16:25] Wirehead: 1,800,000 feet is about 548,600 meters
[16:26] Wirehead: I'm checking the yield equations
[16:29] Wirehead: it's blast radius = yield ^ 33 * (PSI of blast pressure)
[16:29] Joe: What's yield mean here?
[16:29] Wirehead: A 10PSI blast pressure is enough to wipe out anything other than reinfforced concrete...
[16:29] Wirehead: Oh, number of megatons of TNT
[16:29] Joe: Ah
[16:29] Joe: Oh god
[16:29] Joe: jesus
[16:29] Joe: the WHALES
[16:30] Wirehead: Nukes are rated in kilo or megatons of TNT equivalent
[16:30] Wirehead: Hiroshima was like 10 kilotons
[16:30] Wirehead: So... eh...
[16:31] Wirehead: 548,640m = 54km
[16:32] Wirehead: So, 54km = yield ^ .33 * 10
[16:38] Wirehead: er, I plugged in the wrong number there
[16:38] Wirehead: Shoulda been .45 not 10
[16:39] Wirehead: I plugged in the PSI of overpressure as opposed to the actual constant
[16:39] Wirehead: Anyway
[16:39] Joe: The question is, if a whale goes off two miles off the coast of santa barbra, do the inhabitants of Sacramento need to put on flood gear
[16:40] Wirehead: Cube root of 54km = 3.7797 per Google... that seems really low to me
[16:40] Wirehead: Yes, undoubtedly
[16:40] Wirehead: tsnuami
[16:40] Wirehead: tsunami, that is
[16:40] Joe: I do believe you should post your findings in the MBoffin Scientific Journal Quarterly
[16:41] Wirehead: hehe
[16:41] Joe: What have we determined, then? I got lost on all the blast forces and PSI and stuff
[16:41] Wirehead: working on it
[16:42] Wirehead: Oh, I lost a decimal place - thats why it looked too small
[16:42] Joe: Ah
[16:42] Wirehead: Blast radius is *548* km, not 54.8
[16:42] Joe: Yeah
[edited out quite a bit of mathematical fumbling about]
[16:56] Wirehead: 1.2 gigatons
[16:56] Wirehead: I think
[16:56] Wirehead: 0_o
[16:56] Joe: Jesus
[00:00] Dick Seaton: So, since I got home I've been continuing my studies in the matter of the whales.
[00:01] Dick Seaton: As it turns out, most structures will be destroyed at only 5 PSI overpressure
[00:01] Joe: Have you figured out the ratio of a whaleblast in kilotonnage?
[00:02] Joe: I'm trying to get it on the same scale as the way books talk about Hiroshima
[00:02] Dick Seaton: Er... well, I had said it was 1.2 gigatons
[00:03] Dick Seaton: So call it 1.2 million kilotons
[00:03] Dick Seaton: I think Hiroshima was actually 15kt
[00:03] Joe: What's one of those MOAB's weigh in at?
[00:03] Dick Seaton: Oh, hah. Practically nothing in these terms
[00:03] Dick Seaton: The MOAB is a 23,000 pound conventional bomb
[00:04] Dick Seaton: So...like... er... 0.01kt
[00:04] Joe: good jesus
[00:04] Joe: I need to get Niven and Poul Anderson on the horn to pen a short story about one of these whales going off like the toads

The horror of it is, the holocaust has begun! We are too late!

Upon further examination of the numbers given above, it becomes obvious that the only way a whale could liberate this quantity of energy is through direct conversion of matter to energy. Therefore, we should capture the toads and learn their secrets before it is too late, thus ensuring a utopian, fossil-fuel free future for all Mankind.

rnewhouse says:

I guess you guys are too young to remember Oregon's famous exploding whale.

Wirehead says:

Er, actually I linked to that in the "holocaust has begun" line there.

But that video's worth watching twice.

lyrical warfare says:

Wirehead: Longest. Reply. Evar.

lyrical warfare says:

Look: we're mentioned in this exploding toad news report!

And I hereby take back my previous reply above after realizing I've seen Wirehead make much longer replies than the abovementioned.

rnewhouse says:

]2epo]v[an says:

this actualy isnt new. it's just the first time they've been able to get it documented. these toads have been known to do this before. i remember hearing about it in 97

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