Revival of the Frozen ‘Dead’

The common wood frog is anything but common /

"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies." -John 11:25

Among the wonders of creation are the frogs and insects that suddenly re-appear each spring, even in the coldest of climates. How do they survive the icy tomb of winter? Extreme cold is a tremendous challenge for every living thing. Unprotected, the fragile cells that make up the substance of plants and animals burst like water pipes in freezing temperatures—and this leads to irreversible tissue damage.

God gave humankind the intelligence to protect ourselves in harsh weather, because we are more sensitive to cold than most other creatures. In this sense, we are also more dependent upon our Creator. If our core body temperature drops just 3 or 4 degrees—below 95°F (35°C) —we will die. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), hypothermia causes approximately 1,000–1,500 deaths each year in the United States alone.

With this in mind, the survival of the common wood frog of North America (Rana sylvatica) is astounding. It is the only amphibian found living above the Arctic Circle. Unlike most frogs, which hibernate by burrowing into the soft mud of lakes or ponds, the wood frog seeks shelter in the late-autumn ground litter of its forest habitat. This leaves it exposed to much harsher temperatures than pond-dwelling amphibian species, which are insulated by water.

In winter the wood frog freezes solid for two or three months without harm. In the bitter cold its internal organs become encased in ice, and the frog's eyes turn ghostly white as the lenses inside freeze. Not a pretty sight.

Yet in spring it comes back to life. How? Simply put, God has made the ...

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Issue 2 / August 7, 2014
  1. Editors’ Note
  2. When the Eyes of the Blind Are Opened

    New science shows us what exactly Jesus healed in the man born blind. /

  3. A Behemoth from Winnipeg

    How the band The Guess Who inadvertently sounded a gospel note. /

  4. God, LSD, and the Summer of Love

    The unusual (to say the least) conversions of four San Francisco hippies: an excerpt. /

  5. Wonder on the Web

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