How the famous picture of a frog eating a snake came to be

You are currently viewing How the famous picture of a frog eating a snake came to be

How the famous picture of a frog eating a snake came to be

A lot of people had seen the picture, but no one knew what happened with the photographer or the shot itself.

Julie-Anne O’Neill says that the air outside in North Queensland, Australia, starts to be full of life right before a big storm hits.

“Everything goes crazy. “They are feeding and mating like crazy,” she says.


In 2011, O’Neill was out for a walk late at night on one of these nights. She had a big flashlight on her that she called a “dolphin torch.” She wanted to see how the animals in the area responded to the storm.

During this walk, she took the picture that she would later call the best of all the outdoor pictures she has. The subject she heard it before she saw it: a loud screaming sound that was both familiar and strange.

She saw the biggest Australian green tree frog she had ever seen on the ground in front of her.

“When it opened its mouth, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, what the heck?'” she says.

It looked like a small brown snake was sliding backwards down the frog’s throat. The snake was still desperately trying to get out.

Getting Ready to Shoot

O’Neill saw these green tree frogs all the time on the land where she lived. They live all over Australia, but that was the first time she had seen one try to eat something other than a bug. (See how green tree frogs try to eat snakes that are twice as big as them.)

She was shocked at first, but then she thought of the new digital camera she had bought for something like this. O’Neill says she wasn’t just trying to be a shooter for the sake of it. She wished to write down some of the strangest things she had seen in the wild.

I would tell someone something and they would say, “Oh, that’s BS, Jules.” So I decided to get a camera and take pictures.

When she went back outside with her camera, she saw that the tree frog had climbed up a wicker basket and was sitting on the edge.

“I was getting used to the Canon.” “My fingers were numb from holding the shutter down,” she says. It took her a few tries to get a good look at the snake that was still stuck in the frog’s mouth while holding her big flashlight over her head. “It felt like victory when I finally made the shot.”

Survivor Who Surprises

O’Neill was sure the frog was going to die at the time. The frog’s tongue was full of puncture wounds, and since the snake was still moving around violently, she thought the frog’s strange meal would be its last.

The frog was still there in the morning, though. O’Neill often saw green tree frogs. She had even seen one crawl out of her toilet after swimming up her pipes, but this one stood out because it was so big. She said it filled both of her hands when she picked it up.

When O’Neill posted the picture on Google+ in 2011, she thought it might be famous, but she didn’t expect it to get so many followers on many social networks, especially Reddit.

Leave a Reply