Amphibians have been around for much longer than many believe, with some discovered frog fossils dating back to the Dinosaur Area about 200 million years ago. Some cultures and religions have described fascinating and miraculous events that may have taken place thousands of years ago, one of which is the Frogs Plague.
The Frog Plague is said to have occurred in Ancient Egypt and in theory, would have been the 2nd of 10 plagues. There is no evidence to prove or disprove the Plague of Frogs, but the Frog Plague could have been sparked by volcanic eruption which is supported by some archaeological discoveries.
Although there is no concrete evidence to prove or disprove these plagues, many of the plagues can be linked to archaeological and historical discoveries. These discoveries have baffled scientists and scholars to various degrees, but some have led to relatively plausible theories. Join us as we unravel the likelihood of the Frogs Plague and how it has been supported or debunked by scientific evidence.
Learn more about Frog Meanings and Mythology on our blog
What Was The Frogs Plague?
The Frogs Plague is said to have occurred in Ancient Egypt around and is documented in Exodus 8:1-4 as the 2nd of 10 plagues. It is said that the frog plague consisted of frogs escaping the Nile and invading all of Egypt, including people’s homes.
Religious scriptures including Exodus state that the Nile swarmed with an abundance of frogs and that the frogs left no corner unoccupied. They supposedly took over the cities, climbing up into the bedrooms of the Egyptians and taking residence in their beds. Some scriptures state that the frogs attacked the Egyptians as well.
If the Frogs Plague did occur, it would not have taken place for too long as the frogs would have been sent back from the Egyptians’ residences after the Pharaoh promised to free the slaves. This left only the frogs which remained near the Nile. All other frogs would have piled themselves in heaps and died on command.
The Origins of The Frogs Plague
In theory, the Frogs Plague would have happened in Ancient Egypt when people were being enslaved. According to cultural and religious documentation, the Frogs Plague was the second of ten plagues intended to influence the freeing of the slaves.
The 10 Plagues in order are as follows:
- Blood: Water turning to blood
- Frogs: Invasion of frogs
- Lice: Livestock and human deaths
- Wild Animals: Livestock and human deaths
- Pestilence: Livestock deaths
- Boils: Livestock and human deaths
- Hail: Thunderstorm of hail and fire
- Locusts: Invasion of species
- Darkness: Dark for 3 Days
- Death of the Firstborn: Death of every 1st born child
The Frog Plague was recorded in the Bible at Exodus 8:1-4
“Let my people go, so that they may worship me. If you refuse to let them go, I will plague your whole country with frogs. The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs. The frogs will go up on you and your people and all your officials.”Exodus 8:1–4
The Frogs Plague would have been far less aggressive than the other plagues, as it predominantly involved an excess of intrusive and hungry frogs.
What Was The Meaning of The Plague of Frogs?
The frog plague may have been added to Exodus to debunk Egyptian faith, to scare the people and serve as a warning for other worse plagues to come, as well as show that God was to be viewed as all-mighty.
Heqt was an Egyptian Goddess that had a frog-like figure. Heqt was considered the Goddess of fertility and women often carried amulets depicting frogs as good luck charms for fertility. Frogs may have been used in Exodus to instil fear of frogs and debunk Egyptian faith.
The Frog Plague could also have been a warning of other, worst plagues that were to come in the future. It is also said that the Frog Plague affected everyone in society, from poor slaves to rich Pharos, maybe to show that God was to be considered above everyone else.
Did The Frogs Plague Happen?
At large, scholars agree that the documentation of the Frog Plague in Exodus is not a reliable historical account. However, they have gathered some archeological evidence to suggest that many of the 10 Plagues may have occurred in one way or another in Ancient Egypt.
Overall, there is no concrete evidence to prove that these events happened as it was documented in scripture. Some scholars and scientists believe that the plagues could have happened, but not due to mythical powers and supernatural influences. It’s possible that force majeure (natural causes) could have been responsible for the plagues altogether (CTNF).
Still, scholars have been left puzzled, seeking answers and trying to put the pieces together for many years. Here is a list of the most plausible theories for the plagues based on scientific discoveries and known historical events.
Volcanic Eruptions Could Be The Reason For The Frog Plague
One theory is that the plagues resulted from a volcanic eruption on Santorini, an island in the south of Greece. The volcanic eruption would have taken place sometime between 1620 – 1600 BCE, and it’s argued that ancient medical texts support the theory.
It is argued that the accumulated acidity in the water would have caused frogs to evade the area in search of suitable habitats. The aftermath of the volcanic eruption may also explain the other plagues, such as the Blood River, Insect Plague, Boils caused by acid rain, and Darkness caused by ash clouds. In total, the theory describes logical reasons for nine of the ten plagues.
Red Algae Could Be The Cause of Frog Plague
This theory was proposed by numerous scientists, including an epidemiologist named John S. Marr. The theory argued that the presence of red algae could have drained the water of its oxygen, killing the living creatures that inhabited the waters and turning the Nile blood red.
However, it should be noted that many of the explanations within this theory rely on snowball effects and coincidences. If this had occurred, the frogs would have left the Nile in search of food. They would have traveled fairly far from the Nile as they scavenged the nearby towns and villages, and they would have likely failed to locate suitable water sources and food.
Being away from water and without food for so long, the frogs would have inevitably died at a similar time since they would have endured this situation for a relatively similar timeframe. The Red Algae theory also debunks some of the other plagues, as the frogs would not have been around to feed on insects, causing infestations.
Climate Change Could Be The Reason For The Frog Plague
Climate change would need to have occurred to some degree for the volcanic eruption or red algae theory to prove accurate. Research on stalagmites in 2010 suggested that there might have been a dry period toward the end of Pharaoh Ramses II’s rule. If these climate changes had occurred, it could have sparked the growth of Burgundy Blood algae.
At this point, however, there is no scientific proof that the frog plague took place as described in Exodus.
Importance of The Frogs Plague in Modern Times
Many people still celebrate this period in time, with little to no concern of scientific evidence. However, researchers and many spiritual enthusiasts believe that finding evidence to prove that the ten plagues happened (and finding out why) has a vital role in humanity’s survival.
While the ten plagues are all significant within nature’s circle of life, the Frogs Plague is incredibly important. Frogs are seen as an indicator species since their skin is so receptive to external environmental factors. They have been used to gain insight into ecosystems’ wellbeing and balance for many years.
Frogs can also provide humans medical benefits and act as a natural pest repellent. Many of the proposed causes within the plausible theories coincide with modern world problems, such as climate change, water pollution, bacteria growth, habitat loss, and much more. Many modern world transitions have negative effects on the environment.
Yet, humanity continues to engage in harmful activities for the sake of convenience. Tipping the scale of natural balance can have drastic effects on the world as we know it, and proving the Frogs Plague’s existence and causes could be incredibly beneficial in steering human innovation along a brighter and more eco-friendly path.
Some people don’t feel it’s necessary to prove the occurrences, while others feel it plays a crucial role in what we know, believe, and understand. Even if natural changes caused the Frogs Plague, it’s undeniably spooky to know that a story that can be seen as far-fetched could be much closer to reality than we may have thought.
More About The Frog Plague
Frogs have either been worshiped or seen as disgusting beings. Either way, they are essential for our eco-systems to flourish. Learn more about frogs in these articles on our blog:
Collins, John J. (2005). The Bible After Babel: Historical Criticism in a Postmodern Age. Eerdmans. ISBN 9780802828927.
Faust, Avraham (2015). “The Emergence of Iron Age Israel: On Origins and Habitus”. In Thomas E. Levy; Thomas Schneider; William H.C. Propp (eds.). Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective: Text, Archaeology, Culture, and Geoscience. Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-04768-3.
Ancient Egypt Online, Heqet