Is NASA sending frogs into space? Check out the flying amphibian in this rocket launch photo


posted Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 10:09 AM EST


On Monday, we showed you this spectacular shot of a NASA rocket launch passing in front of the Empire State Building. The Minotaur V rocket in that launch, which carried the robotic Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) orbiting moon probe, took off from a NASA site on Wallops Island off the coast of Virginia, an area known for its natural beauty and wildlife. (I should know: I just spent a lovely week vacationing on nearby Chincoteague Island.)

Well, it seems that some of the region's wildlife got a bit excited during the spectacular rocket launch as the below NASA photo shows. Yes, if you look at the end of the arrow in the image (with the arrow graphic added by The Atlantic), you'll see what appears to be a spread-eagled frog going airborne in the smoke from the rocket blast.

It's hard to tell from the angle of the photo just how high the frog is jumping -- hopefully the little critter survived! -- but it definitely made "one giant leap for man" during the blast off.

(Via The Atlantic)