29 awesome frogs celebrating Leap Day.

No one loves Leap Day more than frogs. This is just a fact*.

* That I made up.

Yes, frogs. Those throaty little professional long jumpers who, as 1980s arcade culture taught us, are always trying to cross major highways to their infinite peril.


Leap Day is a day added to the calendar every four years; it's necessary because the Earth actually does a full rotation around the sun every 365.24 days and doesn't seem to care about the nice round 365 number we've come up with. Every four years, we add an extra day to the calendar to catch up. Otherwise we'd actually get ahead of ourselves — there would be snowstorms in June and droughts in November, and New Year's Eve celebrations would be even more disorienting and morally ambiguous than they are now.

In fact, without leap days, right now we would be in the middle of July 2017, by one calculation anyway.

A lot has happened for frogs since the last leap day four years ago.

In the past couple of years alone, six new frog species have been discovered, and conservation efforts have stepped up to save the banana frog in Ethiopia.

Those efforts are just the beginning, and no matter what, the biggest threat to the health of frog species is human activity.

To celebrate Leap Day, here are 29 frogs who just can't stop jumping for joy:

(Oh, and don't worry, we're obviously going to start with the awesome poisonous ones).

1. Golden frog can out-jump and out-poison you!

Photo by Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images.

This frog, the most venomous species in the world, was photographed at the laboratory in the zoo of Cali, Colombia. The Zoo of Cali has the largest amphibian collection in the country and studies them for conservation efforts.

2. This strawberry poison-dart frog is also brilliantly toxic.

Photo by Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images.

As with most frogs this colorful, the skin of the Strawberry poison dart frog is highly toxic. They live in rainforest habitats and sometimes in banana groves.

3. This cocoi frog could totally ruin your day (but doesn't want to).

Photo by Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images.

Also known as the harlequin poison frog, this dangerous little guy is native to Columbia and lives on the rainforest floor. Its bright colors and patterns indicate its ability to totally ruin your day if you pick it up.

4. Check out this Lehmann's poison frog.

Photo by Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images

Another frog of the "seriously, don't mess with me, dude" variety, Lehmann's poison frog is native to Columbia and is, unfortunately, critically endangered due to habitat loss.

5. This red oophaga sylvatica is tiny but mighty.

Photo by Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images.

Sometimes known as "diabilito," meaning "little devil," this species of poison frog is also threatened by habitat loss and deforestation.

6. Here's a black-legged dart frog.

Photo by Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images.

This species is native to the rainforest and enjoys warm, moist conditions. It also listed as a threatened species, again, due to loss of habitat.

7. These piggybacking frogs in Estonia know to bring company along for long trips.

Photo by Raigo Pajula/AFP/Getty Images.

In 2012, volunteers decided to play real life Frogger and carried over 19,000 frogs across highways in Estonia. Without human intervention, it's estimated that nearly all of the frogs attempting the migratory journey would get run over.

8. Check out this sand frog leaping across the desert.

Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images.

Native to Africa, this particular desert-dwelling sand frog was photographed in the Xiangshawan Desert in China.

9. Recognize this green tree frog?

Photo by Stefan Sauer/AFP/Getty Images.

One of the most common frogs, the green tree frog can actually be found in many American backyards.

10. This Chinese flying frog is a big Leap Day fan.

Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images.

The Chinese flying frog lives in natural lowland forests, and is thankfully not endangered. However, it is cool and blue.

11. This monkey frog though? Not so much.

Photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images.

The grumpy guy is native to South America and is a nocturnal tree climber. He's not a huge fan of Leap Day, though. He thinks it's a fake holiday made up by the greeting card companies.

12. This waxy tree frog is pretty cool.

Photo by Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images.

Native to Central and South America, the waxy tree frog lives mostly in trees and vegetation near water sources.

13. Look how tiny this poison dart frog is!

Photo by Andrew Cowie/AFP/Getty Images.

Despite his size, this frog is actually a really big deal. He was the first to be born at The London Aquarium after a successful breeding program for conservation.

14. Here's a gliding tree frog.

Photo by Carlos Julio Martinez/AFP/Getty Images.

Found primarily in Costa Rica, male gliding tree frogs can grow up to 56 millimeters from vent to snout — or, to put it colloquially, ass to nose.

15. OK, wait ... here's that tiny poison dart frog again.

Photo by Andrew Cowie/AFP/Getty Images.

This time he's sitting on a five pence piece! Look how tiny he is!!! So tiny!!! So deadly!!!

16. Did you know there's even a frog jumping competition in Slovenia?

Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images

It's called Frognight, and it's absolutely the biggest and most famous event in the small town of Lokve.

17. These bullfrogs live together on a farm in Singapore.

Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images.

The Jurong Frog Farm started in 1981 and is Singapore's only frog farm. If you're ever in Singapore, you can take a tour of the place.

18. This little baby frog is catching a ride.

Photo by Sena Vidanagama/AFP/Getty Images.

This pair was photographed in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In 1999, scientists found Sri Lanka to be the #1 nation for frog diversity. It's home to over 200 species of frogs. Unfortunately, several species have died out since then due to a shrinking habitat.

19. This bull frog is accounted for.

Photo by Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images.

The zookeeper holding up this frog was participating in London Zoo's annual stocktake. Which is an exhaustive and complete headcount of every animal at the zoo.

20. The London Zoo also has a weigh in. A spoon weigh in.

Photo by Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images.

Animals like this mossy frog in a weighing spoon have to be weighed to record the animal's vital statistics. It's all part of the effort to make sure animals at the zoo are well cared for.

21. This tree frog lives in Maryland.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

Maryland is actually home to dozens of species of frogs and toads. Though as far as scientists know, they don't ride tandem bicycles together Despite what a certain children's book series would lead you to believe.

22. Oh yikes, the Prince Charles stream tree frog is kinda creepy.

Photo by Arthur Edwards, WPA Pool/Getty Images.

It was actually only discovered in 2008 and is still very endangered. Conservation efforts are ongoing to help protect the species. It's also really unsettling looking. Is that just me? It looks like it's going to leap out of the picture. *shudder*

23. This frog was just saved from poachers.

Photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images.

Although frogs legs are a delicacy in India, the government clamped down on the hunting of frogs in 1985 amid concerns over their falling numbers.

24. Here are some Moor frogs.

Photo by Sebastian Willnow/AFP/Getty Images.

Get it? Moor frogs? These frogs are excellent swimmers and mostly live in water. If found on land, they'll bury themselves quickly in soil or sand.

25. Aww, look, here are a few more colorful poison dart frogs.

Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images.

These colorful characters were on display as part of "Frogs: A Chorus of Colors" at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The museum has one of the largest frog collections in the world.

26. Check out this White tree frog.

Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images.

The white tree frog is unique. It's rather large, ranging in length from 3 to 4.5 inches, and females are usually bigger than males. They can be found in northern Australia and New Zealand, but this one was photographed in Scotland.

27. The coolest little poisonous frog.

Photo by Fredy Amariles/AFP/Getty Images.

As cool as his patterns are, he's also highly poisonous. Also, the species is in danger due to their popularity as pets as well as the disappearance of their habitat.

28. This frog hangin' at a wildlife refuge in San Jose.

Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images.

La Paz Waterfall Gardens, a wildlife refuge in Costa Rica, is also a popular tourist destination. It also has an aviary that acts as a refuge for wild birds that have been illegally hunted.

29. And, finally, that monkey frog who has still not warmed up to Leap Day. He'll get there eventually.

Photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images.

I mean, really. He's just super not into it. If you ask him, he'd say the world is better off letting the calendar just fly off the handle. Who needs all that organization and consistency? Just eat some flies and relax.

In short, Leap Day is necessary and frogs are awesome.

They're colorful, adorable, sometimes extremely badass and dangerous, and there are over 4,700 species of them.

Unfortunately, if deforestation continues, a lot of frogs could lose their habitats. Many species have already died out, and roughly 1,900 species are in a threatened state.

However you celebrate Leap Day, I encourage you to take a moment to think about the world's best leapers. They could really use your help.

The airline industry was one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, as global and domestic travel came to a screeching halt last spring. When the pandemic was officially declared in March of 2020, no one knew what to expect or how long the timeline of lockdowns and life changes would last.

Two weeks after the declaration, Delta pilot Chris Dennis flew one of the airline's planes to Victorville, CA for storage. He shared photos on Facebook that day of empty planes neatly lined up, saying it was a day he would remember for the rest of his life.

"Chilling, apocalyptic, surreal...all words that still don't fit what is happening in the world," he wrote. "Each one of these aircraft represents hundreds of jobs, if not more."

He added:

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The airline industry was one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, as global and domestic travel came to a screeching halt last spring. When the pandemic was officially declared in March of 2020, no one knew what to expect or how long the timeline of lockdowns and life changes would last.

Two weeks after the declaration, Delta pilot Chris Dennis flew one of the airline's planes to Victorville, CA for storage. He shared photos on Facebook that day of empty planes neatly lined up, saying it was a day he would remember for the rest of his life.

"Chilling, apocalyptic, surreal...all words that still don't fit what is happening in the world," he wrote. "Each one of these aircraft represents hundreds of jobs, if not more."

He added:

Keep Reading Show less
True

Each year, an estimated 1.8 million people in the United States are affected by cancer — most commonly cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, and blood cancers such as leukemia. While not everyone overcomes the disease, thanks to science, more people are surviving — and for longer — than ever before in history.

We asked three people whose lives have been impacted by cancer to share their stories – how their lives were changed by the disease, and how they're using that experience to change the future of cancer treatments with the hope that ultimately, in the fight against cancer, science will win. Here's what they had to say.

Celine Ryan, 55, engineer database programmer and mother of five from Detroit, MI

Photo courtesy of Celine Ryan

In September 2013, Celine Ryan woke up from a colonoscopy to some traumatic news. Her gastroenterologist showed her a picture of the cancerous mass they found during the procedure.

Ryan and her husband, Patrick, had scheduled a colonoscopy after discovering some unusual bleeding, so the suspicion she could have cancer was already there. Neither of them, however, were quite prepared for the results to be positive -- or for the treatment to begin so soon. Just two days after learning the news, Ryan had surgery to remove the tumor, part of her bladder, and 17 cancerous lymph nodes. Chemotherapy and radiation soon followed.

Ryan's treatment was rigorous – but in December 2014, she got the devastating news that the cancer, once confined to her colon, had spread to her lungs. Her prognosis, they said, was likely terminal.

But rather than give up hope, Ryan sought support from online research, fellow cancer patients and survivors, and her medical team. When she brought up immunotherapy to her oncologist, he quickly agreed it was the best course of action. Ryan's cancer, like a majority of colon and pancreatic cancers, had been caused by a defect on the gene KRAS, which can result in a very aggressive cancer that is virtually "undruggable." According to the medical literature, the relatively smooth protein structure of the KRAS gene meant that designing inhibitors to bind to surface grooves and treat the cancer has been historically difficult. Through her support systems, Ryan discovered an experimental immunotherapy trial at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD., and called them immediately to see if she was eligible. After months of trying to determine whether she was a suitable candidate for the experimental treatment, Ryan was finally accepted.

The treatment, known as tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte therapy, or TIL, is a testament to how far modern science has evolved. With this therapy, doctors remove a tumor and harvest special immune cells that are found naturally in the tumor. Doctors then grow the cells in a lab over the next several weeks with a protein that promotes rapid TIL growth – and once the cells number into the billions, they are infused back into the patient's body to fight the cancer. On April 1, 2015, Ryan had her tumor removed at the NIH. Two months later, she went inpatient for four weeks to have the team "wash out" her immune system with chemotherapy and infuse the cells – all 148 billion of them – back into her body.

Six weeks after the infusion, Ryan and Patrick went back for a follow-up appointment – and the news they got was stunning: Not only had no new tumors developed, but the six existing tumors in her lungs had shrunk significantly. Less than a year after her cell infusion, in April 2016, the doctors told Ryan news that would have been impossible just a decade earlier: Thanks to the cell infusion, Ryan was now considered NED – no evaluable disease. Her body was cancer-free.

Ryan is still NED today and continuing annual follow-up appointments at the NIH, experiencing things she never dreamed she'd be able to live to see, such as her children's high school and college graduations. She's also donating her blood and cells to the NIH to help them research other potential cancer treatments. "It was an honor to do so," Ryan said of her experience. "I'm just thrilled, and I hope my experience can help a lot more people."

Patrice Lee, PhD, VP of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Exploratory Development at Pfizer

Photo courtesy of Patrice Lee

Patrice Lee got into scientific research in an unconventional way – through the late ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau.

Lee never met Cousteau but her dreams of working with him one day led her to pursue a career in science. Initially, Lee completed an undergraduate degree in marine biology; eventually, her interests changed and she decided to get a dual doctoral degree in physiology and toxicology at Duke University. She now works at Pfizer's R&D site in Boulder, CO (formerly Array BioPharma), leading a group of scientists who determine the safety and efficacy of new oncology drugs.

"Scientists focused on drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry are deeply committed to inventing new therapies to meet unmet needs," Lee says, describing her field of work. "We're driven to achieve new medicines and vaccines as quickly as possible without sacrificing safety."

Among the drugs Lee has helped develop during her career, including cancer therapies, she says around a dozen are currently in development, while nine have received FDA approval — an incredible accomplishment as many scientists spend their careers without seeing their drug make it to market. Lee's team is particularly interested in therapies for brain metastases — something that Lee says is a largely unmet need in cancer research, and something her team is working on from a variety of angles. "Now that we've had rapid success with mRNA vaccine technology, we hope to explore what the future holds when applying this technology to cancers," Lee says.

But while evaluating potential cancer therapies is a professional passion of Lee's, it's also a mission that's deeply personal. "I'm also a breast cancer survivor," she says. "So I've been on the other side of things and have participated in a clinical trial."

However, seeing how melanoma therapies that she helped develop have affected other real-life cancer patients, she says, has been a highlight of her career. "We had one therapy that was approved for patients with BRAF-mutant metastatic melanoma," Lee recalls. "Our team in Boulder was graced by a visit from a patient that had benefited from these drugs that we developed. It was a very special moment for the entire team."

None of these therapies would be available, Lee says without rigorous science behind it: "Facts come from good science. Facts will drive the development of new drugs, and that's what will help patients."

Chiuying "Cynthia" Kuk (they/them) MS, 34, third-year medical student at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Photo courtesy of Cynthia Kuk

Cynthia Kuk was just 10 years old when they had a conversation that would change their life forever.

"My mother, who worked as a translator for the government at the time, had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and after her chemotherapy treatments she would get really sick," Kuk, who uses they/them pronouns, recalls. "When I asked my dad why mom was puking so much, he said it was because of the medicine she was taking that would help her get better."

Kuk's response was immediate: "That's so stupid! Why would a medicine make you feel worse instead of better? When I'm older, I want to create medicine that won't make people sick like that."

Nine years later, Kuk traveled from their native Hong Kong to the United States to do exactly that. Kuk enrolled in a small, liberal arts college for their Bachelor's degree, and then four years later started a PhD program in cancer research. Although Kuk's mother was in remission from her cancer at the time, Kuk's goal was the same as it had been as a 10-year-old watching her suffer through chemotherapy: to design a better cancer treatment, and change the landscape of cancer research forever.

Since then, Kuk's mission has changed slightly.

"My mom's cancer relapsed in 2008, and she ended up passing away about five years after that," Kuk says. "After my mom died, I started having this sense of urgency. Cancer research is such that you work for twenty years, and at the end of it you might have a fancy medication that could help people, but I wanted to help people now." With their mother still at the forefront of their mind, Kuk decided to quit their PhD program and enter medical school.

Now, Kuk plans to pursue a career in emergency medicine – not only because they are drawn to the excitement of the emergency room, but because the ER is a place where the most marginalized people tend to seek care.

"I have a special interest in the LGBTQ+ population, as I identify as queer and nonbinary," says Kuk. "A lot of people in this community and other marginalized communities access care through the ER and also tend to avoid medical care since there is a history of mistreatment and judgement from healthcare workers. How you carry yourself as a doctor, your compassion, that can make a huge difference in someone's care."

In addition to making a difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ patients, Kuk wants to make a difference in the lives of patients with cancer as well, like their mother had.

"We've diagnosed patients in the Emergency Department with cancer before," Kuk says. "I can't make cancer good news but how you deliver bad news and the compassion you show could make a world of difference to that patient and their family."

During their training, Kuk advocates for patients by delivering compassionate and inclusive care, whether they happen to have cancer or not. In addition to emphasizing their patient's pronouns and chosen names, they ask for inclusive social and sexual histories as well as using gender neutral language. In doing this, they hope to make medicine as a whole more accessible for people who have been historically pushed aside.

"I'm just one person, and I can't force everyone to respect you, if you're marginalized," Kuk says. "But I do want to push for a culture where people appreciate others who are different from them."