Thunder rumbles outside, and the first few drops of spring rain splatter against your window. you pay no attention.
Unfortunately, five minutes later you are completely distracted from what I’m sure was a very important Buzzfeed article by the infernal beeping of hundreds of sex-crazed maniacs.
And they only sing when it’s raining.
(Nothing I could possibly say could add to this experience.)
The Purple Frog is notable for being tiny, pillowesque, and a bright moist purple. They have stubby little legs that they use to stomp around dramatically instead of hopping like a normal not-purple frog. I love them, and that’s a True Science Fact.
The Purple Frog lives only in a small area of Southwest India. (Tragically, the rest of the world will never know the joy of being woken up at 3am by these little jerks.) No one had any idea that the Purple Frog even existed until 2003. (Except… for the people who live in Southwest India. But apparently they don’t count. If a tree falls in the forest and only the people who live there hear it, does it make a sound?)
But the reason the Purple Frog was so recently discovered is because it spends almost its entire adult life underground. Except for three weeks in the summer, during the Monsoon rains. So how do they spend this precious time? The sum of their personal experiences that don’t involve writhing around in the dirt?
They spend the entire time trying to get laid, of course.
As soon as they emerge from the mud, males set up shop and compete for the attention of females by inflating their entire bodies and beeping urgently. Swoon. Males usually reach around three inches long, exactly the right size for chucking into your neighbor’s open window. (Do not ask me how I know this.) Inflated, they’re a little bigger and a lot squishier than a golf ball.
The lady Purple Frogs think this is very attractive. because they’re frogs and don’t know any better. Once the male Purple Frog has secured the attention of a suitable (read: ANY) female, they piggyback over to the nearest pool of water to make some tadpoles. And since the males are less than a third the size of females, this display is completely ridiculous. (It looks like a purple pillow and its equally purple backpack off on a cross-country adventure for a Lifetime movie.)
Once the eggs are laid, the adult Purple Frogs retreat back underground to wiggle around in the mud for another year. Good times! Meanwhile, the eggs hatch into boring unremarkable tadpoles, who will grow their own pair of stubby purple legs about 100 days later. As soon as they achieve lumpy frogness, they fling themselves into the dirt and burrow away.
We still aren’t completely sure what the Purple Frogs get up to down there, but we suspect that it probably involves a lot of disturbing writhing and I don’t really want to think about it anymore. But since they’re so new to science, we don’t even really know how many Purple Frogs there are. Personally I hope they’re doing okay, because I really don’t want to live in a Universe without Purple Frogs.
And now, neither do you.
1- Wikimedia Commons
2- Karthickbala, Wikimedia Commons
3- Unnikrishnan Nair P.K., Wikimedia Commons