Some unwind by colouring in mindfulness books. Others take up stamp collecting. And then there are those who hand stuff five-hundred dead frogs and arrange them into theatrically human scenes. Well, maybe just this one particular eccentric hobbyist, Ferenc Mere.
Mere, a 20th-century Hungarian taxidermist, dedicated 10 years to stuffing amphibians and painstakingly arranging them into anthropoid positions. This curious project of passion resulted in Froggyland, arguably Croatia’s strangest attraction, which has contributed a frisson of freak to the coastal city of Split.
The amphibians were preserved by the highly skilled taxidermist who stuffed more than a thousand frogs between 1910 and 1920. Using an advanced technique where the frogs were filled with cork through their mouths, thus avoiding any external incisions, Mere’s work is celebrated as a masterpiece. Even by today’s standards, amphibian taxidermy is considered an extremely complex process.
The collection originally consisted of 1,000 samples. A hundred years after their creation, 507 have been preserved in the biggest, and potentially strangest, collection of its kind in the world. Froggyland comprises of 21 weirdly fun exhibits where frogs are systematically arranged in everyday human situations.
Have you ever wondered what it would look like if frogs inhabited an entirely anthropomorphic world? Probably not. But whether it’s frogs hopping about in a blacksmith shop, circus, or school, or having their outfits customised at the tailor, the incredible attention to detail displays a meticulously skilled genius at work.