Gabby the frog scientist had been called down to the Amazon rain forest to investigate the unexpected discovery of dozens of new species of frogs. She flew down from Rochester to Rio de Janeiro in a big plane, then to the outskirts of the jungle in a little plane, then to a research station in the smallest plane she’d ever seen, then car, motorcycle, and finally a twelve mile hike out to the campsite where the naturalist had been telling them about the new species on his satellite phone.
As she travelled, a story began to emerge. Climate change had caused a stable vortex of greenhouse gasses and ozone depleting chemicals to form just over this one spot in the jungle, and as a result there was a huge hole in the ozone overhead. The hole in the ozone caused the frog’s DNA to change, and the strangest mutations were resulting. The naturalist had discovered a frog covered in frog eyes, and one that had both hind legs tied in a knot, and another that spat out whole flies instead of eating them. This campsite was going to be ground zero for some of the most exciting frog research ever done.
But when they at last walked into the campsite, it was in ruins. The tent was torn and supplies were everywhere and being chewed on by little purple toads. They called out loudly for the naturalist, but there was no answer.
Gabby dug through the debris, and unearthed a notebook. “Expected Genetic Drift” it was titled. In it features were listed, like “long legs” and “sees x-rays” and “invisible,” with a checkmark and a date beside each one. There was a shaky mark beside one feature. “Extreme giantism and hunger for human flesh,” it read. The date was yesterday, and there was a frowny face next to the entry.