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Santa Barbara's shrine to the humble frog

by John Rabe | Off-Ramp®

The Santa Barbara Frog Shrine, on Paterna Road, in the Riviera neighborhood. John Rabe

Tuesday, I went up to Santa Barbara to interview marine biologist and Off-Ramp commentator Milton Love about the giant sea bass census he's helping run. Then, he drove us up into the hills above the city to the Riviera Neighborhood, saying he wanted to show me one of his and his wife's favorite spots.

We stopped on Paterna Road and he showed us a wall covered with hundreds of frogs. Not live ones, but plush frogs, calendar frogs, ceramic frogs, wood frogs, metal frogs, thermometer frogs, mask frogs, photo frogs, painted frogs.

RELATED: Which frog was just named the California state amphibian?

In other words, frogs.

A frog wall in Santa Barbara? Who left the first frog? Why did they leave it? So many frogs, so many questions. As the story is told, in 1989 a plastic frog appeared on a residential wall on Paterna Road in the Riviera neighborhood of Santa Barbara. Passersby and neighbors added frogs to the wall. ...  It is rumored that one frog with a secret compartment contains a note warning that anyone who removes a frog from the shrine and keeps it more than two days will face certain death. We have yet to find this frog, but maybe you’ll have better luck! -- Relish Santa Barbara's Joslyn Baker

WATCH: John Rabe's video of the Santa Barbara frog shrine

Needless to say, we didn't take a single frog, and we're still alive ... and wart-free.

To see the frog shrine for yourself, the exact spot for your GPS is N 34° 26.309 W 119° 41.962.

RELATED: Help Milton count giant sea bass!


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