The gigantic toad

The Zippy for today (2/22), in which Mr. Toad, reflecting on the Gigantic Toad of Yasothon, Thailand, observes that “not all amphibians are good amphibians” — which will take us to Rhinella marina, the giant cane toad:

(#1)

In Thailand. From the Culture Trip site: “Offbeat Thailand: Visit Yasothon’s Gigantic Toad”:


(#2) (Culture Trip caption) The small but cute Phaya Thaen Public Park in Yasothon … with a gigantic toad! (photo: i am way / Shutterstock)

Thailand is full of quirky attractions, from floating markets and museums dedicated to dead bodies, curious natural spots and hell temples. Add another unusual sight to your Thailand bucket list and visit Phaya Thaen Public Park in Isan’s province of Yasothon

The riverside park of Phaya Thaen Public Park is famous for its gigantic five-storey toad statue. The mammoth amphibian looks out over the water, his back covered with warts and his mouth gaping. It’s not just an unusual sight however — you can even go inside the toad!


(#3) (Culture Trip caption) Just a giant toad next to Yasothon’s river! (photo: nuttavut sammongko / Shutterstock)

The toad’s belly contains displays related to tourism in the province and information about the legend of Praya Kankak, a local toad prince who bargained with the rain god to prevent the lands from being flooded. It is said that the toad prince and the rain god agreed from that point on, people should launch rockets to signify that they wish rain to come.

Each May, Phaya Thaen Public Park holds a booming Rocket Festival, known locally as Bun Bang Fai, where locals launch gigantic rockets into the skies, hoping for rain to follow. You’ll notice that some of the smaller statues feature rockets.

In, especially, Australia. From Wikipedia:


(#4) Stock photo of a cane toad from the Mental Floss article “10 Bumpy Facts About Cane Toads” by Mark Mancini on 3/1/16

The cane toad (Rhinella marina), also known as the giant neotropical toad or marine toad, is a large, terrestrial true toad native to South and mainland Central America, but which has been introduced to various islands throughout Oceania and the Caribbean, as well as Northern Australia. It is the world’s largest toad.
… The cane toad has poison glands, and the tadpoles are highly toxic to most animals if ingested. Its toxic skin can kill many animals, both wild and domesticated, and cane toads are particularly dangerous to dogs. Because of its voracious appetite, the cane toad has been introduced to many regions of the Pacific and the Caribbean islands as a method of agricultural pest control. The common name of the species is derived from its use against the cane beetle (Dermolepida albohirtum), which damages sugar cane. The cane toad is now considered a pest and an invasive species in many of its introduced regions. The 1988 film Cane Toads: An Unnatural History documented the trials and tribulations of the introduction of cane toads in Australia.
… The cane toad is very large; the females are significantly longer than males, reaching a typical length of 10–15 cm (4–6 in), with a maximum of 24 cm (9.4 in). Larger toads tend to be found in areas of lower population density. They have a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years in the wild, and can live considerably longer in captivity, with one specimen reportedly surviving for 35 years.

2 Responses to “The gigantic toad”

  1. Mitch4 Says:

    I thought I remembered the cane toad as the one “toad lickers” would try to get high off of — with its venom in the right doses being psychoactive. But apparently not: https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Toad%20Licking

  2. Sim Aberson Says:

    Right after we moved to Miami Beach, my father went outside, and screamed. He stepped on one of these (barefoot). Not only did it feel horrible to him, the toad jumped in one leap to a staircase landing one flight up. We never knew that a toad so huge could exist.

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