10 SEC READING: Frogs being boiled

Several biological studies have shown that a frog placed in a container along with water from his pond, he will remain alive while you heat the water. The toad does not react to the gradual increase of temperature (change of environment) and only dies when the water boils, swollen and happy.

On the other hand, if a toad is thrown into that same container when the water is already boiling, he will immediately jump out. He will be a little singed, but alive!

Sometimes we can be like the boiled toads. We do not notice changes.
We think everything is good, or that whatever is evil will pass, it’s just a matter of time.
We are about to die, but we are floating, stable and apathetic as the water warms up every minute.
We are dying, fat and happy, without having noticed the changes around us.

There are boiled toads who still believe that the key is obedience, not competence: might is right, and obey whoever is sensible. From all this, where is the real life? It is better to emerge from a situation, maybe a little singed from time to time, but alive and ready to act.


  1. Lainey Rappaport says:

    I taught school for many years. The Mayor in Burlington on November 10th, 2008 gave me a Proclamation for being The Vermont Frog Lady. I have collected and saved froggie things since I was five years old. I also went on Captain Kangaroo show when I was five years old and meet Bob Keeshan again before he died at a book signing at Borders on Church St. It is no longer there. So much has changed since you got married and moved to Paris. I actually went to Paris when I was 16 with the French club. I also have made frog puppets and made a Cd many years ago. I taught school in Fletcher when your dad was Principal. I also did a Frog show on channel 15 but it was to small of a place and too many kids wanted to come on and I had to try something different. I did music, arts and crafts and frog stories and raised red eyed tree frogs for 10 years. Now ECHO the museum has the red eyed tree frogs. I than got elected and became a Justice of the Peace which I love and Perform several marriages. I would also love to do a Princess and frog wedding. That maybe be my something I offer in the near future. Halloween is around the corner. Have a wonderful birthday.

  2. Sonia says:

    WE ARE NIETHER FROGS NOR TOADS so how can we say that frogs die happy….he who dies knows he is happy or not ……we can just make assumptions!

  3. Delos says:

    A lot of people would like to stay where they are….why?…they are AFRAID to get out of their comfort zone…

  4. teddyted says:

    Death in nothing for us.
    When we are,death is not coming and when death is here ,we are not…

  5. Anna Mazzali says:

    Molto bello quello che scrivi

    Penso sia meglio vivere come una rana bruciacchiata che rimanere nel bollitore

    Rimanere in un contesto dove la gente ti vuole come vogliono loro e tu non sei d’accordo è come morire. Non puoi cambiare il pensiero della gente ma puoi cambiare il tuo e decidere di non essere pií¹ la loro rana ma solo la rana che vuoi tu

    la rana bruciacchiata è libera e saggia. Il bollitore è spento….nel suo oblio e nel suo pensiero schiacciato da dogmi dettati da altri ma non DA TE.

    come dice la BIBBIA…. liberati dal male…AMEN

  6. cristina cabral says:

    Muito interessante!

  7. Whooah! Hint taken, major problem – means of jumping out. But I definitely can see the symptoms.

  8. Guadalupe Martínez Cedeño says:

    Definitivamente siempre logras que encuentre un buen consejo en tus historias. Me encantan y te felicito lo haces muy bien.

  9. Dear sir,
    Your books are simply wonderful,
    and speaking of books, i (SHASHWAT P KUMAR AGE 11) and my brother SHIVAM P KUMAR(14years) have penned down a sci-fiction novel, by the name of Quolowardia. it is going to be published. we would be most grateful if you can give the book a mention on your blog. you have greatly inspired us to write the book and there would not be enough words of thanks. we would be thankful if you could help us, but even if not then please give the book a read.

  10. eimrel says:

    not all … is willing to embrace change …… we want everything to stay as it used to be ,,,,,,,,,,,,, a sad reality

  11. santiago says:

    buen relato, como siempre un buen escritorrr con grande si deas y pensamiento para reflexion en nuestra vida cotidiana

  12. Ali Raza Panjwani says:

    WOW that’s awesome I am ready for act : *)

  13. vilma says:

    io credo che vivere sia un’esperienza continua, che ti fa crescere ogni giorno.
    nel momento che vivi come la rana che rimani li senza accorgerti di nulla significa che sei gií  morto dentro che nulla per te ha pií¹ uno scopo una meta, sei come l’ombra sulla strada. piatta e vuota. la vita è vivere ogni cambiamento intensamente pinamente senza paura che quello che vivi ti schiaccerí , certo a volte( prima spesso) puí² succedere di sentirsi come la rana che percepisci che qualcosa intorno a te sta cambiando e tu credi di non avere le forze per uscirne ma ti accorgi che non è cosí¬ e allora capisci che cií² che ti arriva tu sei perfettamente in grado di affrontrlo. perchè nulla ti viene mandato se tu non sei in grado di affrontrlo.

  14. Cynthia Pugh says:

    Well, We seem to live in fear of what may happen if we speak up. I am pleased to say for myself I tend to speak up allot. I have lost jobs because of it and friends. The funny thing is that years later people we say to me you were so right. You can never count on others backing you up though. You just have to be true to yourself .It is not an easy thing to do, no one is perfect, some people prefer to leave it up to others, however it can be like a spark, you may feel invisible at the time, but that spark that you have started will ignite at some point, you may not get credit but that is the beauty of it.
    As regards the tunnel well in extreme circumstances it is us being pushed out of our bodies, that has been my experience anyhow.

  15. Ajay says:

    One should live life ion his own terms.

  16. Ajay says:

    Dear paulocoehlo,
    You are my real life guru ,I have read and collected all your books,boiling frog is one more inspiration for living fearless life.thanks for inspiring lives.

    1. seshu says:

      can u please post me all books titles

  17. sofia says:

    muy cierto preferible aceptar lobueno como lo malo, aprender de las experiencias aunque a veces nos duelan pero aprendemos a ser mejores, y no quedarnos como sino sucediera nada,

  18. katie says:

    LOL …
    this is what wkipedia says about the experiments that were done in the 1900’s:
    “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.”[2]

    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.”

    so, I would say … today one assumes that frogs are smarter than we are :o)

    1. Satora says:

      A test was conducted concerning the frog myth with the participation of Thomas Hout coauthor of “Competing Against Time”, and J. Debra Hofman, (MIT) coauthor of “Implementing Radical Change: Gradual Versus Rapid Pace.”
      Frog A was placed into a pot of cold water. Moderate heat was applied after 4.20 seconds it leaped out of the pot…the leap 24cm.
      Frog B was place into a lukewarm pot of water. Moderate heat was applied after 1.57 seconds it leaped out of the port….the leap 57 cm…
      “The change myth assumes a very narrow view of people. If frogs can do it, people definitely can.” J. D. Hofman
      Source: the fastcompany.com-magazine-frog

      A little more concerning frogs…
      “Tropical frogs are probably one of the most sensitive animals in the world and react very rapidly to substantial changes in their environments.” Irina Gray – Tropical Rainforest Animals website

      Just know this metaphor is not literally true…
      So to boil or not to boil…I leave this up to you…and by the way “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 his intact frogs attempted to escape the water.” wikepedia

      Maybe we should consider the effect of ‘brainwashing’ concerning this metaphor….and this is happening in such subtle ways …. !!!!

  19. LoveM says:

    So..do you know why
    There are less frogs than tadpoles
    The frogs keep croaking..
    What’s the time frogs
    Croak croak.. transformation time
    Stop being a frog..

  20. Maria Nicolosi says:

    I can reasume : some people luagh while they are dying , and they does’nt understand that they really are dying, because they think to live means to be happy, to looking for enjoyment and for an happy-go -lucky life, they are not enough strong for fighting and they are incapable to notice the changes of environment, and like frogs they remain alive while the water is heating and they don’t react the gradual increase of temperature and so they die when the water boils. To- day my life is heating like the water of frogs, but my family does’nt react the gradual increase of temperature, because many changes are happening in Italy and in Europe. I notice the changes of environment but my family fears the changes, they hope I am quite wrong , but I think that like frogs do, we must jump out immediately, we must emerge from this economic and political situation , maybe we’ll be a little singed , from time to time we’ll be alive and ready to act, thank you, and thank your Blog , because you helps me and encourages me to shake spear and like Amlet I say :-to be or not to be, that is the question – . I like Shakespeare and his Amlet, Amlet is our conscience and our soul, I think that our life sometime is like a Shakespearian tragedy, but we can change our life and at last we’ll remain alive and we’ll survive if only we’ll write better our life, so that our life’ll not be a tragedy, we can write and change it into a poem or into a comedy with a happy ending , we can write change our life and our destiny, and God’ll guide our hand. To live is a hard, risky, lion-hearted, adventure, life is like a fight and I feel the changes and the perils of my family, often I saw before what”ll happen, and I shake the consciences and the hearts of my family to wake up, My mother called me Cassandra when I was a child, now my husband calls me a perfect nuisance, but I must shake spear, because I notice the wather is boiling and my family must jump out, and at last I am sure that my family’ll survive. I beg your pardon for my long and full of mistakes comment, but I am only a good poor devil, a lion-hearted warrior of the life, and a desperated housewife, and I wish God bless you, me, and everybody, and guide our hand to write a good, lucky, long,, lion-hearted life.

    1. marina says:

      Grazie a questo blog vedo che non sono la sola a pensare positivo anche in una realtí  che è negativa ma che puí² cambiare se reagiamo, io mi sono svegliata totalmente da poco e nella mia vita ho lottato male ora perí² mi sento sulla giusta via e come te tento di risvegliare gli altri, siamo un sasso gettato nell’acqua che fa delle onde che smuovono l’acqua. Grazie ancora

    2. Sohail says:

      Dear Maria,
      I read your comment, Its really a true May God give you lots of strength, good health and love to you and your family.
      Thanks for sharing such a remarkable comments.

  21. Maria Bertilia M.Lins says:

    Gostei,suas histórias com bases cientí­ficas,tem sempre um ensinamento para o comportamento humano,,gostei da conclusí£o’…É melhor sair de uma situaí§í£o, talvez um pouco chamuscados de vez em quando, mas vivos e prontos para agir.”É isto ai!Importante é ní£o se omitir.

  22. manu says:

    No lamentarse y actuar… Es precisamente con lo que estoy lidiando en la actualidad.

  23. Valentina says:

    paulo! Alguna vez visitaste PARAGUAY_? ojala alguna vez tengamos el placer de tenerte por aqui..!

  24. densi says:

    kiss the frog :)
    along with bees they are almost extinct nowadays, so one should indulge in rarity… besides, you never know what a revelation brings: another pumpkin or some overdry fisherman or real trouble with a declaration of war on (ardent) horizon. ehh surprise surprise arises with the kiss – and you ought to be a gambler in spirit to play this way.
    as for the moral of the story the main question still remains – where actually to go when you are here on this blue wobbling planet?

    Everything has been figured out, except how to live. /Jean Paul Sartre/
    …and this is good news :)

  25. kermit says:

    You can always watch me on… Sesame Street singing
    ‘It’s not easy being green’

  26. Florence says:

    wow awful live experience on the toads whoever tried this boiling thing on the poor things :(

    However I love the comparison with life and you are so damn right dear Paulo !!
    sometimes we have to get stinged/burned by life to jump and react…. Let’s hope we all find the courage, strength and motivation to jump out when that happens … ;) xx