Hot Frog Friday

Linda Eodice

We all know the tale about the frog in the pot of water. If the water is boiling, it will leap out at once. If the water is cold, and gradually heated, the frog will stay in the pot and – eventually – die.

However, is the story true?

From Wiki:

As part of advancing science, several experiments observing the reaction of frogs to slowly heated water took place in the 19th century. In 1869, while doing experiments searching for the location of the soul, German physiologist Friedrich Goltz demonstrated that a frog that has had its brain removed will remain in slowly heated water, but an intact frog attempted to escape the water when it reached 25 °C.

Other experiments showed that frogs did not attempt to escape gradually heated water. An 1872 experiment by Heinzmann demonstrated that a normal frog would not attempt to escape if the water was heated slowly enough, which was corroborated in 1875 by Fratscher.

Goltz raised the temperature of the water from 17.5 °C to 56 °C in about ten minutes, or 3.8 °C per minute, in his experiment which prompted normal frogs to attempt to escape, whereas Heinzmann heated the frogs over the course of 90 minutes from about 21 °C to 37.5 °C, a rate of less than 0.2 °C per minute. In “On the Variation of Reflex Excitability in the Frog induced by changes of Temperature” (1882) William Thompson Sedgwick writes: “in one experiment by Scripture the temperature was raised at a rate of 0.002°C per second, and the frog was found dead at the end of 2½ hours without having moved.”

In 1888 Sedgwick explained the apparent contradiction between the results of these experiments as a consequence of different heating rates used in the experiments: “The truth appears to be that if the heating be sufficiently gradual, no reflex movements will be produced even in the normal frog; if it be more rapid, yet take place at such a rate as to be fairly called ‘gradual’, it will not secure the response of the normal frog under any circumstances”.

Modern sources tend to dispute that the phenomenon is real. In 1995, Professor Douglas Melton, of the Harvard University Biology department, said, “If you put a frog in boiling water, it won’t jump out. It will die. If you put it in cold water, it will jump before it gets hot—they don’t sit still for you.” Dr. George R. Zug, curator of reptiles and amphibians at the National Museum of Natural History, also rejected the suggestion, saying that “If a frog had a means of getting out, it certainly would get out.”

In 2002 Dr. Victor H. Hutchison, Professor Emeritus of Zoology at the University of Oklahoma, with a research interest in thermal relations of amphibians, said that “The legend is entirely incorrect!”. He described how the critical thermal maximum for many frog species has been determined by contemporary research experiments: as the water is heated by about 2 °F, or 1.1 °C, per minute, the frog becomes increasingly active as it tries to escape, and eventually jumps out if the container allows it.

Notwithstanding its probable status as a myth, it’s a nice (in the strict sense) metaphor for what’s happening to the Federal coalition.

I wonder what the response would be if we asked them how the water was?

Science Notes, UCSC

Meanwhile, I’ve reached the end of the first week of semester with the big second year course that I’m responsible for seemingly under control, while my first lecture in another subject was okay.

It’s wonderful to have the prospect of a couple of days of peace and quiet, though Melbourne is in for its longest spell of warm to hot weather for a couple of months. At least the forecast doesn’t have any appallingly hot days, so we should survive.

Jukebox time, I think . . .

I love Noni Hazlehurst, so I can’t resist adding this one:

252 thoughts on “Hot Frog Friday

  1. I might be being a bit weird, but I’m not feeling the outrage I’m supposed to feel about this woman losing her job.My outrage is all about this woman’s stupidity, and about someone so lacking in intelligence being given the job of teacher.

    Teacher Gets Slut Shamed And Fired After Student Steals Her Phone, Leaks Sexts
    And last – a teacher who says’ ‘It don’t make it any more right’ should never, ever be

    Anyone who takes nude selfies on their phone is a twit, anyone who does not immediately delete those selfies is a complete and utter idiot.

    Teachers do not leave their personal possessions sitting on a desk. Not when they are out of the room, not even when they are in the room. Phones, wallets, handbags, whatever should be kept somewhere secure at all times, preferably under lock and key in a locker in the staffroom.

    A teacher does not need a phone while they are teaching, not unless they plan on spending time texting and sending selfies instead of doing their job, actually teaching their class.

    And, after seeing this extra video, carefully left out of the article, you can see why I’m shocked. How could someone who believes ‘That don’t make it any more right’ is the correct way to speak be allowed in a classroom, even a classroom in Southern Carolina, where English seems to be a second language to gibberish.

  2. gigilene + TLBD

    No Greeks. Named after a Fort Galatea which in turn was named after a visiting Pomgolian ship. Not many Maori “gala teas” but a lot of battles between themselves and with the Pakeha. Those hills made perfect places to retreat to or swoop down from onto the plains.

  3. Leonetwo in my line of teaching a phone is basically a teaching tool as well as a safety device and we now mark rolls online as well.

    There are those who would suggest that is not the case but it’s too hot to get into that discussion

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