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The Lake Titicaca Scrotum Frog is a frog with the scientific name of Telmatobius culeus, a critically endangered amphibian that lives in the Lake Titicaca basin between Peru and Bolivia. The animal gained online attention in the early 2023s after efforts to spread the word about its critically endangered status worked notably well, with its particularly unique skin being noticed by those learning about the frog, spawning memes and reaction videos on platforms like TikTok.
On September 22nd, 2023, TikToker geodesaurus uploaded a TikTok in which they talked about the frog, its uniquely wrinkled skin and the surrounding area of Lake Titicaca in South America where the frog can be found. While explaining about the frog and its endangered status, they repeatedly say to not bully it, which was immediately ignored by the comments talking about the name of the lake and the frog's nickname as "Scrotum Frog" due to the folds in its skin. The TikTok video accumulated over 300,000 likes in three years (shown below).
@geodesaurus Reply to @paragraphslimes Lake Titicaca’s special Frog 🐸 #greenscreen ♬ original sound – Geo
In the following year, the frog species still lived in relative obscurity, with videos being made about it only when it pertained to the animal's life status, using the funny name as an attention-grabber. For example, on August 27th, 2023, TikToker phukdupnews uploaded a TikTok talking about a United Kingdom zoo that was putting the frogs on display for the first time to help spread the word about them and their conservation efforts (shown below).
@phukdupnews UK Zoo Trying 2 Save Rare ‘Scrotum Frogs’ & Will be putting them on Display. #Worldnews #news #uk #chesterzoo #zoo #frogs #scrotumfrog #climatechange ♬ original sound – phukdupnews
Two years later after her first viral video on the frog, TikToker geodesaurus uploaded a TikTok on May 18th, 2023, going over the frog's uniqueness, nickname and the things threatening them in their environment (shown below). This time, the video reached over 800,000 likes in one week and spawned numerous reactions, as well as individual videos from others also talking about the frogs and their plight.
@geodesaurus Replying to @flowerbootaego no bullying the frog! 🐸 #laketiticaca #southamerica #laketok ♬ original sound – Geo
@ageesaurusrex Replying to @Igor suddenly everybody titicaca wildlife experts n shii. Keep it to yourself pal✋🏾😐 #titicaca #TransformersVoices #scrotumfrog ♬ original sound – Agee
@denverzoo #duet with @Geo Did you know that Denver Zoo works closely with conservation partners in Peru to help save Endangered Lake Titicaca? For the last 15 years, we’ve worked to understand and mitigate the threats to these large aquatic frogs through foundational research, conservation breeding, community engagement, capacity building and local/global outreach! 🐸 #laketiticaca #laketiticacafrog #scrotumfrog #endangeredspecies #peru #conservative #amphibian #wildlifeconservation #aquaticfrogs ♬ original sound – Geo
@ageesaurusrex #stitch with @Geo #greenscreen this is easily my worst video💀💀 #TransformersVoices #animal #zootopia #zootok #laketiticaca #chameleon ♬ original sound – Agee
@angelinawitaspoon #stitch with @Geo i can only handle so much like wtf whyyyy 🥺 #laketiticaca #blacktok #comedy ♬ original sound – AJ
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