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.

Images courtesy of Letters of Love
True

When Grace Berbig was 7 years old, her mom was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues. Being so young, Grace didn’t know what cancer was or why her mother was suddenly living in the hospital. But she did know this: that while her mom was in the hospital, she would always be assured that her family was thinking of her, supporting her and loving her every step of her journey.

Nearly every day, Grace and her two younger sisters would hand-make cards and fill them with drawings and messages of love, which their mother would hang all over the walls of her hospital room. These cherished letters brought immeasurable peace and joy to their mom during her sickness. Sadly, when Grace was just 10 years old, her mother lost her battle with cancer.“

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Losing my mom put the world in a completely different perspective for me,” Grace says. “I realized that you never know when someone could leave you, so you have to love the people you love with your whole heart, every day.”

Grace’s father was instrumental in helping in the healing process of his daughters. “I distinctly remember my dad constantly reminding my two little sisters, Bella and Sophie, and I that happiness is a choice, and it was now our job to turn this heartbreaking event in our life into something positive.”

When she got to high school, Grace became involved in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and a handful of other organizations. But she never felt like she was doing enough.

“I wanted to create an opportunity for people to help beyond donating money, and one that anyone could be a part of, no matter their financial status.”

In October 2018, Grace started Letters of Love, a club at her high school in Long Lake, Minnesota, to emotionally support children battling cancer and other serious illnesses through letter-writing and craft-making.


Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Much to her surprise, more than 100 students showed up for the first club meeting. From then on, Letters of Love grew so fast that during her senior year in high school, Grace had to start a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of card-making materials.

Speaking about her nonprofit today, Grace says, “I can’t find enough words to explain how blessed I feel to have this organization. Beyond the amount of kids and families we are able to support, it allows me to feel so much closer and more connected to my mom.”

Since its inception, Letters of Love has grown to more than 25 clubs with more than 1,000 members providing emotional support to more than 60,000 patients in children’s hospitals around the world. And in the process it has become a full-time job for Grace.

“I do everything from training volunteers and club ambassadors, paying bills, designing merchandise, preparing financial predictions and overviews, applying for grants, to going through each and every card ensuring they are appropriate to send out to hospitals.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

In addition to running Letters of Love, Grace and her small team must also contend with the emotions inherent in their line of work.

“There have been many, many tears cried,” she says. “Working to support children who are battling cancer and other serious and sometimes chronic illnesses can absolutely be extremely difficult mentally. I feel so blessed to be an organization that focuses solely on bringing joy to these children, though. We do everything we can to simply put a smile on their face, and ensure they know that they are so loved, so strong, and so supported by people all around the world.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Letters of Love has been particularly instrumental in offering emotional support to children who have been unable to see friends and family due to COVID-19. A video campaign in the summer of 2021 even saw members of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild offer short videos of hope and encouragement to affected children.

Grace is currently taking a gap year before she starts college so she can focus on growing Letters of Love as well as to work on various related projects, including the publication of a children’s book.

“The goal of the book is to teach children the immense impact that small acts of kindness can have, how to treat their peers who may be diagnosed with disabilities or illness, and how they are never too young to change the world,” she says.

Since she was 10, Grace has kept memories of her mother close to her, as a source of love and inspiration in her life and in the work she does with Letters of Love.

Image courtesy of Grace Berbig

“When I lost my mom, I felt like a section of my heart went with her, so ever since, I have been filling that piece with love and compassion towards others. Her smile and joy were infectious, and I try to mirror that in myself and touch people’s hearts as she did.”

For more information visit Letters of Love.

Please donate to Grace’s GoFundMe and help Letters of Love to expand, publish a children’s book and continue to reach more children in hospitals around the world.

Freya from Maya Higa's YouTube video.

Ever wonder what an ideal date for a lemur would be? Or a lizard’s favorite Disney princess?

Thanks to one YouTube poster with a passion for animals and an endearing sense of humor, all questions shall be answered. Well, maybe not all questions. But at the very least, you’ll have eight minutes of insanely cute footage.

In a series titled “Tiny Mic Interviews,” Maya Higa approaches little beasties with a microphone so small she has to hold it with just her thumb and forefinger. And yes, 99% of the animals try to eat it.

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Images courtesy of AFutureSuperhero and Friends and Balance Dance Project
True

The day was scorching hot, but the weather wasn’t going to stop a Star Wars Stormtrooper from handing out school supplies to a long line of eager children. “You guys don’t have anything illegal back there - any droids or anything?” the Stormtrooper asks, making sure he was safe from enemies before handing over a colorful backpack to a smiling boy.

The man inside the costume is Yuri Williams, founder of AFutureSuperhero And Friends, a Los Angeles nonprofit that uplifts and inspires marginalized people with small acts of kindness.

Yuri’s organization is one of four inaugural grant winners from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, a joint initiative between Upworthy and GoFundMe that celebrates kindness and everyday actions inspired by the best of humanity. This year, the Upworthy Kindness Fund is giving $100,000 to grassroots changemakers across the world.

To apply, campaign organizers simply tell Upworthy how their kindness project is making a difference. Between now and the end of 2021, each accepted individual or organization will receive $500 towards an existing GoFundMe and a shout-out on Upworthy.

Meet the first four winners:

1: Balance Dance Project: This studio aims to bring accessible dance to all in the Sacramento, CA area. Lead fundraiser Miranda Macias says many dancers spend hours a day at Balance practicing contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, and ballet. Balance started a GoFundMe to raise money to cover tuition for dancers from low-income communities, buy dance team uniforms, and update its facility. The $500 contribution from the Kindness Fund nudged Balance closer to its $5,000 goal.

2: Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team: In Los Angeles, middle school teacher James Pike is introducing his students to the field of robotics via a Lego-building team dedicated to solving real-world problems.

James started a GoFundMe to crowdfund supplies for his students’ team ahead of the First Lego League, a school-against-school matchup that includes robotics competitions. The team, James explained, needed help to cover half the cost of the pricey $4,000 robotics kit. Thanks to help from the Upworthy Kindness Fund and the generosity of the Citizens of the World Middle School community, the team exceeded its initial fundraising goal.

Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team video update youtu.be

3: Black Fluidity Tattoo Club: Kiara Mills and Tann Parker want to fix a big problem in the tattoo industry: there are too few Black tattoo artists. To tackle the issue, the duo founded the Black Fluidity Tattoo Club to inspire and support Black tattooers. While the Brooklyn organization is open to any Black person, Kiara and Tann specifically want to encourage dark-skinned artists to train in an affirming space among people with similar identities.

To make room for newcomers, the club recently moved into a larger studio with a third station for apprentices or guest artists. Unlike a traditional fundraiser that supports the organization exclusively, Black Fluidity Tattoo Club will distribute proceeds from GoFundMe directly to emerging Black tattoo artists who are starting their own businesses. The small grants, supported in part with a $500 contribution from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, will go towards artists’ equipment, supplies, furnishings, and other start-up costs.

4: AFutureSuperhero And Friends’ “Hope For The Holidays”: Founder Yuri Williams is fundraising for a holiday trip to spread cheer to people in need across all fifty states.

Along with collaborator Rodney Smith Jr., Yuri will be handing out gifts to children, adults, and animals dressed as a Star Wars’ Stormtrooper, Spiderman, Deadpool, and other movie or comic book characters. Starting this month, the crew will be visiting children with disabilities or serious illnesses, bringing leashes and toys to animal shelters for people taking home a new pet, and spreading blessings to unhoused people—all while in superhero costume. This will be the third time Yuri and his nonprofit have taken this journey.

AFutureSuperhero started a GoFundMe in July to cover the cost of gifts as well as travel expenses like hotels and rental cars. To help the nonprofit reach its $15,000 goal, the Upworthy Kindness Fund contributed $500 towards this good cause.

Think you qualify for the fund? Tell us how you’re bringing kindness to your community. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis from now through the end of 2021. For questions and more information, please check out our FAQ's and the Kindness Toolkit for resources on how to start your own kindness fundraiser.

Family

2 photos of a woman's bedroom reveal just how powerful depression can be.

"We need to be able to talk to each other about our feelings, even the bad ones."

This article originally appeared on September 7, 2016

Jonna Roslund is a 26-year-old from Sweden who lives with depression.

Photo via Jonna Roslund, used with permission.

Living with a mental illness affects many areas of a person's life, including one annoyance most of us can relate to: the dread of household chores.

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This article originally appeared on November 6, 2015

Every single day, babies across the world are born prematurely, which means that they're born before 37 weeks of gestation.

In Canada, about 29,000 infants are born prematurely each year, roughly 1 in every 13. But in the United States, around 400,000 to 500,000 are born early. That's about 1 in every 8 to 10 babies born in the U.S.!

Red Méthot, a Canadian photographer and student, decided to capture the resilience of many of these kids for a school photography project.

He's the father of two prematurely born kids himself, so the topic is important to him.

"My son was born at 29 weeks and my daughter at 33 weeks," he told me in a phone interview. "These are the kind of pictures I would like to have seen when my first child was born — they've been through that, and they are great now."

Méthot said he knows not all preemie stories have a happy ending — one of his photos features a child whose twin passed away after they were born prematurely — but for so many kids who come early, they go on to experience a great life.

Meet several of the beautiful kids he photographed!

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