In a horrible experiment, frogs are stepwise heated up from comfortable temperatures to lethal degrees.
As their temperature sensor system is based on detecting incremental changes, the frogs are killed by their inability to sense absolute temperatures. If you drop a frog into hot water, it will immediately jump out, but if put in warm water that is gradually heated, it otherwise ignores gradual heating such that it gets boiled to death before it notices.
This is a favourite of American libertarians/militia, who use it frequently as an analogy for TheGovernment
gradually eroding CivilRights?
, but can also be suggested as an explanation of an encroaching plutocracy.
This may be horrible eschatologically, but the point is the frog just sits in the pan, unrestrained and perfectly free to hop out, until the end.
These frogs would have benefited from a ZenSlap
This story is another urban legend. For example, see http://www.uga.edu/srel/ecoview11-18-02.htm (I have seen a better discussion, but I couldn't find the URL).
Yes, one of the best things about this story is that it isn't true. In this way it is a good demonstration of how many people are less interested in the truth of a point than they are in making it.....
It's a UsefulLie, as long as the biology of frogs is not the key issue.
The "boiled frog" analogy (which FastCompany?
claims to have debunked as an experiment), attempts to illustrate how homeostatic mechanisms can be defeated by slow change. The frog has a homeostatic mechanism that reacts to abrupt changes in temperature by causing the frog to jump. But if the water is heated slowly, that mechanism doesn't trigger, and the frog boils to death.
This analogy got used quite a bit a few years ago in business consulting circles to illustrate how corporations could be defeated by failing to recognize or react to slow, incremental changes in the competitive environment. --DaveSmith
I enjoyed FastCompany?
's article: http://www.fastcompany.com/online/01/frog.html
They heated cold water around a frog, and it jumped out in "4.20 seconds". The standard myth is that the frog heats up "slowly", which could mean over several minutes. I think FastCompany?
was too squeamish to kill a frog in the name of science. Or of debunking consultants. --PCP
The point of the FastCompany? experiment is that frogs will jump all the damn time, no matter what sort of water you put them in. The heat was slow, but the frog was quick. --JTP
The whole story sounds apochryphal to me, however, for a cold-blooded amphibian, the water wouldn't need to get anywhere near boiling to kill the frog. Probably 100F 38C would do just fine. "Boiling the frog" smells like needless dramatics. --AndyPierce
Frog soup... yummm.
I once had a frog who was found dead on a hot glass surface, next to some cold water he had been happily sitting in an hour before. So there might be some truth to the story.
Nope. The term 'cold-blooded' is misleading; it does not mean to such animals are always cold or prefer cold, but that they do not thermoregulate by generating a constant heat level metabolically. Indeed, many endotherms bask in the sun in order to keep their metabolic activity high during the day without having to be constantly active. Feel free to quote Thomas Huxley regarding the murder of beautiful theories if you wish. - JayOsako, reformed biogeek
I know cold-blooded animals often warm up to keep their activity high, but basking in the sun to the point of death
...then there is the metaphor of the two frogs who fell in the butter churn. One despaired, sank to the bottom and drowned. The other kicked and swam with all his might until his flagallation turned the cream to butter and he simply used the butter as a platform to jump out.
I don't know of any research on this.
As butter is churned, the stirring device will get stuck in the mix due to hardening. So, the meaning behind the story is sound ( as it is in the original topic), but an actual experiment will prove that it wouldn't actually happen that way.
On the other hand, I could concoct a similar story about two frogs that fell into quicksand. One kicked and swam with all his might until his gyrations sent him straight to the bottom of the pit, and he suffocated. The other calmy stretched out, worked up to a base, and slowly eased himself to the edge of the pit. People who blindly use a fable to support a plan of action are at best fooling themselves, and, at worst, intentionally fooling their audience.
This story is the basis of a Danish childrens' poem (mice instead of frogs). Of course, the moral is, "Don't give up."
Frog-flavored butter... yummm
on that note, a more realistic verison...
A frog was hopping around a farmyard, when it decided to investigate the
barn. Being somewhat careless, and maybe a little too curious, he ended up
falling into a pail half-filled with fresh milk. As he swam about
attempting to reach the top of the pail, he found that the sides of the
pail were too high and steep to reach. He tried to stretch his back legs
to push off the bottom of the pail but found it too deep. But this frog
was determined not to give up, and he continued to struggle. He kicked and
squirmed and kicked and squirmed, until at last, all his churning about in
the milk had turned the milk into a big hunk of butter. The butter was now
solid enough for him to climb onto and get out of the pail!
The moral of the story is: If your approach is completely futile and
pointless, do not consider changing tactics. Perhaps some weird miracle
will occur and make your stupid approach work out by accident, instead of
slowly killing you, as you can expect it to do almost 100% of the time.
courtesy of LambdaMOO
Frog soup... yummm.
Frog soup is good; my wife makes it all the time. It's quite popular in China (where she's from).
Of course, the frogs she uses are already dead and butchered, so we're unable to repeat the experiment for our own edification. At any rate, what's the difference between frog soup and chicken soup?
- One is supposed to have a fly in it while the other can't fly very well at all.
- One makes you jumpy and the other makes you feel a bit peckish.
- Or rather, one makes you jumpy and the other makes you downright chicken!
I like frogs. They're cool.
Also see: FolgersCrystals