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Saturday, November 26, 2011
Frogs: Holy, Hula, and more
There have been many myths and legends concerning frogs.One is that the Hula frog (in Israel, not Hawaii) is extinct.This was recently proven wrong by Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority when one of its inspectors discovered that this “painted” frog (which “sports a dark belly with small white spots, and other colors”) was very much alive.
These “resurrected” frogs are denizens of Israel’s Hula Valley, a naturally-abundant area that was also nearly extinct due to human “improvements.”This valley was once home to Lake Hula, which extended over 12 to 14 square kilometers before its drainage in the 1950s.The Hebrew Bible called this lake “Merom,” and Wikipedia
reports that it was “the site of a victory of Joshua over the Canaanites.”
Although the Hula has reappeared on earth, many other frogs remain in mythological realms.Aesop seems to have had a special fascination with them.His fables tell of frogs begging Jupiter to send them a mighty king (watch what you ask for), frogs reminding boys who were pelting them with stones that “what is sport to you, is death to us,” and frogs that complained to Jupiter about the Sun’s tendency to dry up their homes.
The ancient Egyptians also took their frogs quite seriously.Because the annual flooding of the Nile coincided (not surprisingly) with the birth of millions of frogs, these frogs became “a symbol of life and fertility.”This symbolism was further epitomized by the Egyptian frog-goddess, Heget (aka Heket). Wikipedia also reports that the “Biblical plague of frogs sent to curse ancient Egypt, like the nature of the other plagues, was intended to show the sovereignty of the God of Moses over the gods of Egypt.”
In today’s “truth is stranger than fiction” world, science has found a way to levitate frogs.This frog levitation has been accomplished through the use of strong magnetic fields (and is largely due to the diamagnetic properties of water).