This is an article written by the late geologist, John Watson.  John was a longtime friend of Creation Evidence Museum and I’m very sad to say that it was only a year and a half before his death that I had the privilege of meeting him. The man was an incredible wealth of information, as can be seen in his article below.  This article is reprinted here with the permission of Creation Evidence Museum.  I don’t know the date on this article, I believe it was the early 90’s.  I think I got all the OCR errors worked out, but there might be a few scattered errors here and there.  Enjoy!




Research associated with Creation Evidences
Museum & Archaeological Excavations FM 205 at Paluxy River Bridge ‘ P.O.Box 309, Glen Rose,Texas 76043

No. 4
Tombed Torpid Toads Tell Tellurian Truth
Toads and clams, entombed alive at depth in “ancient” stone, yet continuing to live therein to recent times in a torpid state, contribute to our understanding of genuine geologic history.
Live toads in a torpid state (a kind of deep hibernation), entombed in absolute isolation at considerable depth in clay, “secondary” limestone and sandstone,(now classified by secular geology as Silurian and Ordivician) were dug from the Erie Canal during its construction and from wells and basements in the environs. Similarly, live clams were dug from another 42 ft. deep canal site in hard, compact “diluvial”
deposits. All these are reasonably accounted for by the young earth, cataclysmic creation model with its Noahic Flood-induced collapse of the ice canopy which abruptly lowered general environmental temperatures by several degrees in these latitudes. Without this cooling and rapid cataclysmic burial to considerable depth, the toads and clams would have suffocated, died, and decayed. To induce torpor and thus maintain a “spark of life”, temperatures below 50 deg. F must be present and be maintained.
The live toad’s burial chamber (evidently a mold of the toad’s body without evidence of any squeeze) also required rapid hardening of the entombing sediments into stone capable of supporting its own and resultant overlying weight of the sediments. Furthermore, to avert dangerous squeeze by hydraulic pressure at those depths, the hardened stone must have had little or no permeability-which in turn correlates with the isolation of the toads and clams within the stone. Therefore, the evidence dictates that stow, gradual accumulation of sediments in burial (viz. uniformitarian theory with its vast age of the earth) is untenable and cannot account for this occurrence that was so commonplace and which attracted so much attention from scientists and laymen alike.
John A. Watson received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the university of Texas at Austin. Employed as a federally-classified hydrologist with the U.S. Gealogical Survey for ten years and with the State . of Texas for 22 years.
The construction of the Erie Canal, spanning New York State east to west, was begun in 1793 and completed in two stages by 1825. It is 150 feet wide and averages 12 feet deep. It extends from the Hudson River at Waterford, New York westward to Tonawanda, New York on Lake Erie. The terrain through which the canal was dug contains ridges of hard compact gravel. Many segments are solid stone that required blasting to excavate the canal bed. Exposure of toads in a torpid state became a common occurrence’ during the canal’s excavation. Reports of the same kind of occurrence were received from Europe2.
The U.S.Geological Survey map of the United States, east half, depicts the route of the Erie Canal as being entirely in Silurian (in the majority) and Ordivician bedrock, together averaging an alleged 430 million years in age. Entombed toads and clams surviving a torpid state for such an enormous evolutionary interval is highly improbable. Furthermore, the toad, an amphibian, is not considered to have appeared by evolutionary means until the Lower Oligocene’. Thus, it wouldn’t have been around to be entombed in stone in Ordivician and Silurian times.

The first of several reports of torpid animals (mostly toads) being liberated by excavations of the Erie Canal in New York State, appeared in the American Journal of Science and Arts ( and other journals) in 1822. An exerpt from that reference follows (underlining mine for emphasis). “The following … Touching the history of secondary rocks, has just come to light. The workmen engaged in blasting rock from the bed of the Erie Canal, at Lockport, in Niagara county, lately discovered in a small cavity in the rock, a toad in the torpid state, which on exposure to the air instantly came to life, but died in a few moments afterwards. The-cavity was only large enough to contain the bodv, without allowing room for motion.

No communication existed with the atmosphere: the nearest place of approach to the surface was six inches, through solid stone…. The country is wholly on secondary formation. These animals have frequently been found imbedded in clay gravel, etc., but no fact of their having been observed in rock, is recollected. C the causes which enable animals of this class, which have been suddenly enveloped in strata of earth, or otherwise shut off from the air without injury to the animal organs, to resume for a limited period the functions of life on being restored to the atmosphere, no explanation need here be given, as the occurrance is a very common one and is perhaps the result of galvanic excitement.”
Isaac Lea of Philadelphia collected many facts from various sources on the subject of hibernation, of which torpor is one type. He concludes: “Thus it appear that life may be preserved in a torpid state without respiration, and this give countenance to the frequently asserted fact that live toads have been taken from sandstone and other recent rocks.”
Professor Amos Eaton of the Castleton Institution wrote concerning ‘living antediluvial animals’: “The discovery of toads in secondary rocks is often announced in public journals. A very particular account was published in newspapers, of one, found at Lockport while they were cutting the canal bed in geodiferous lime rock. I collected all the facts in my power, and examined the rock from which it was taken. . . . I took no further notice of the report. But I have since received an account of a large dark brown toad being found in a rock ( millstone grit, near Whitesborough, which I cannot hesitate to believe….
‘While laying the cellar wall of M Sill’s house, they [two respectable masons] had occasion to split a large stone from the quarrv which I call the milstone grit. It was perfectlv close-grained and compact. On opening it they discovered [2] a black, or dark brown spherical mass, about three inches in diameter, in a cavitv which it filled. On examining it particularly, they found it to be a toad, much larger than the common species, and of a darker color. It was perfectly stupid [or, ‘in a stupor’]. It was laid upon a stone, and soon began to give signs of life. In a few hours it would hop moderately, on being disturbed….

‘The millstone grit, in which the toad was found, is the oldest of the secondary rocks. It must have been formed many centuries before the deluge’. Was the toad more than four thousand years old or was it from an egg introduced through a minute and undiscovered cleavage, into this cavity or geode, made precisely to fit the size and form of a toad? I was particular in, my jnquiry, and learned from them that the whole stone was perfectly compact without any open cleavage which would admit an egg. Besides it is well known that the millstone grit is neither porous nor geodiferous. If this rock stratum was deposited upon the toad, it must have been in aqueous, not in igneous solution; and the toad must haye been full grown at the time. Toads are often found in compact. hard, gravelly diluvial deposits, in situations which demonstrate that thev must have lived from the time of the deluge. I think I am waranted in saying this without citing authorities, as it is a common occurrence.”
Professor Eaton continues. “The diluvial deposits in the great diluvial trough through which the Erie Canal is made, contains ridges of compact gravel. A remarkable ridge of this kind lies in an oblique direction across the canal, running southwesterly from the village of Rome, sixteen miles west of Utica. While cutting through this ridge, the workmen, found several hundred of live molluscous animals. They were chiefly of the ‘Mya cariosa’ and ‘Mya purpurea’–(Union of Bruguieres and Barnes). I have before me several of the shells from which the workmen took the animals, fried and ate them . . . I have received several of the shells, with satisfactory assurances that the animals
were taken alive from the depth of forty­two feet in the same deposit and near the same place.
“I need not be prolix (wordy) in the enumeration of facts of this kind; as similar cases are frequently recorded. My object is to present a case where the deposit is decidedly diluvial; consequently these animals must have lain from the time of the_deluge. For the earth in which they are found is too compact for them to be produced by a succession of generations. Therefore, the lives of these animals are greatly prolonged by exclusion from air and light, or their natural age is more than three thousand years. At any rate thev prove the absurditv of Darwin’s hypothesis that all animals are perfected at every successive generation, and that man ‘probably began his career as a fish’. For these fresh water clams of three thousand years old, precisely resemble the same species which now inhabit the fresh waters of that district.”10
David Thomas, Esq., engineer of the Erie Canal wrote the following before he died. “The report that a living toad was found in limestone rock at Lockport in 1822, 1 well remember. I had never heard it doubted …
“The following is the evidence that I have lately obtained on the subject: Dr. Isaac W. Smith recollects that in preparing jambs from limestone, thrown out in excavating the Erie Canal at Lockport in 1822, John Jennings, a man of unimpeached veracity, declared, that on breaking into a cavity in the stone, a toad fell out, and jumped several times. It soon died, and that evening it was purloined for the purpose of selling it at Albany as a curiosity…. From the cavity to the outer edge of the stone at its nearest point, was probably three or four inches, and was perfectly, solid all around.’
“Dr. LW. Smith states that ‘in 1822 a small boulder of porous red sandstone was thrown out in digging my cellar at Lockport; and as it was found near the top of the spoil bank its position probably had (3) been five or six feet below the surface. On discovering something to project from this stone, I broke it, and found it to contain a frog,–not living, for it had been exposed some days to the sun, but from its appearance, was probably alive at the time it was thrown out. The stone and frog are preserved in my cabinet.'” (This occurrence supports my conclusion that, without cold ­induced torpor, the entombed animal would have quickly suffocated, died, and decayed. This frog’s tomb, the boulder, had been exposed to the sun’s rays for some days, which would have brought its temperature, and that of the frog, above the 50°F at which torpor can no longer continue, The frog must have revived in its cell and, without air, must have quickly suffocated and died. A modern frog in this situation, continuing to receive air, water, and insects through some obscure cleavage, in all probability would not have died).

‘In the deep excavation beyond (south of) the rock, on the line of the Erie Canal, between Lockport and Tonnewanta, it was several times mentioned to me by the contractors, that frogs were taken up alive from considerable depths, entirely surrounded by solid earth. . . . G.H. Boughton … says in his letter to me … `That one in particular was found I think more than ten feet down, embedded in the close. firm clay and alive’.'”
The Hon. Wm. A. Thompson of Thompson, N.Y. researched the reports of “… the vitality of toads, etc. enclosed in firm materials”, and writes: “in this country, toads and frogs have been found in three different situations.
1. Toads have been frequently found in sandstone of the secondary formation, and in secondary limestone.
2. In digging wells, where the workmen have come to beds of clav twelve or fifteen feet below the surface, of the ground,
3. In the trunks of trees…
“In the first place, the toads that have been found in the sandstone and limestone, were
enclosed in cells just large enought to contain their bodies and from every
appearance, must have remained in the situation ever since the formation of the surrounding sandstone or limestone, in the water under which they appear to have been deposited.
“The cells that enclose these “reptiles”12 were evidently accommodate
to their shape and size, and of course, the materials of which they are composed were then in a plastic or yielding condition so as to suit the form of any body that might become enclosed in them. …
“But ft is a well known fact, that toads. froqs. and other reptiles have remained in a torpid state for manv years, without any signs of life, and have revived on being exposed to a higher temperature with an access of air. It is thus proven that respiration and the circulation of the blood are not necessary to the vitality ( the cold blooded animals during the hibernation; it appears also, that the food taken into the stomach remains unaltered and undigested, even at the end of three or four years, the same as if it had not been in the stomach more than a minute provided, however, that the torpidity ; these hybernating animals remains the same , and that thav continue in the same low degree of temperature. therefore, any of these reptiles, during state of torpidity, should be imbedded in sand or calcareous matter, we know of no reason . whv their vitality should not continue for thousands of vears. If food, respiration, and the circulation of blood are not necessary for the continuance of the vitality of these reptiles, the lapse of thousand years is the same to them as that of one day. A free circulation of air and a higher temperature, are both equally necessary for the revivescence of these torpid animals. We have no account of the toad and other reptiles being found enclosed in sandstone or marble in Europe or America. except in latitudes where the cold renders these reptiles torpid; therefore appears probable that they might be enclosed in the substance when it was soft, and the reptiles in a torpid state. If
it (4) is objected that the animals should have been quickened into life by the annual return of a higher temperature, it may be answered, that a rock at the depth of fifteen to twenty feet remains at a much lower temperature13 than the incumbent air .. . Frogs and toads at the south part of Hudson’s Bay, and in Canada, have remained frozen and torpid for years, and afterwards revived.

“Toads, in this latitude, remain torpid from the first of November until the first of May; in the summer they usually burrow about eight or ten inches under the ground, or under some stone at a less depth; in the winter they continue in a torpid state, and remain so even until May, at which time the small insects begin to emigrate from their winter quarters, to furnish them with food.
“In this climate the earth is usually frozen during the winter season, from fifteen to eighteen inches deep, and every thing enclosed by it appears to be congealed and lifeless….
“As respects the toads and frogs, that in digging wells, have been found in the clay14 at the depth of twelve or fifteen feet, I can see no reason to think that they may not have lain there in a tumid state ever since the deluge, as most of the materials above solid rock strata were, at that time, removed by the violent action of the water, and these frogs and toads might have been inclosed at that time with the materials that were every where in motion; and if they were not deposited in the earth at that time, but have been since covered deep in the earth by some violent irruption of the waters, so as to deprive them of air and food, their case will still be similar, for, obviously at the depth of fifteen feet there could be no supply of food or air, and yet when taken out of the clav,, they have soon become quickened so as to move; it is therefore possible that these toads and frogs may have remained in this situation many years, or even ages,– indeed, for a period incomparably longer than any person will attribute to the life15 of these reptiles…. We are … led to believe that the vitality of the toad may be continued to a interminable length of time, provided th animal has become torpid by cold, so as to stop respiration and the circulation of the blood, and provided he remain at a fo+ temperature, and without free circulation of air…
‘That in every instance where toads are found immured in stone, there should be a crevice or aperture in the rock. to admit air and insects for food to the tenants, and that it has escaped the notice and observatipn of the inquisitive observer js contrary to all probability, especially as the occurrence has always excited the most intense curiosity, and more particularly as the opening must have been originally large enough to admit the bod­y of the reptile….
“Toads are often ploughed up, earl in the spring, when no signs of life appear until after being exposed for some time to the warm air; these facts appear to bear on the case in hand, and I might add, number more of a similar character than have fallen under my observation….
“P.S. Not long since, as a number of laborers were digging a well in this town and after penetrating five or six feet through the gravel, they came to the hardpan, and entering it about five feet more they found a live toad about two-thirds the size of a full grown toad. It was enclosed in a cell somewhat larger the the animal, but suited, in every way, to his shape…. The toad, on being exposed to the air, soon began to move, but died within the space of twenty or thirty minutes afterwards.
“I have to remark that this well situated on elevated ground, and that the hard pan, common in the United States, composed of clay and gravel, cernented with iron, and is so firm that it cannot t broken up without a pick-axe and crow-bar.
… It is to be observed, also, that the hard pan is free from fissures and seam, and equally impervious to air or water as the sandstone of the country. This reptile
beyond all doubt, was excluded from air
and the means of acquiring food; below the effects of the warmth of the sun in summer, and below, also, that of the rain water that sinks into the earth, whereby it is warmed.
‘It appears to me that this instance furnishes a case that is directly opposed to the inferences drawn by Prof. Buckland [of Oxfordl. In the absence of anv direct evidence on the subject, he raises a presumption against the long, continued vitality of toads; whereas, in all the accounts furnished in Europe and America, the evidence goes to prove, that the presumption he has made is opposed by well authenticated facts.””

Another critic of the many reports of
living toads found in stone was M. Vallot,
physician of Dijon, France. Like Professor
Buckland, he raises a presumption against
the long continued vitality of toads found in
stones. In his memoir17, read at the
Academy of Sciences, Nov. 20, 1826: “The
author’s conclusion is, that there is no
unquestionable evidence of the existence of
such phenomena. He thinks that Ambron
Pare’, who states that he was an eye
witness of a discovery of this nature, was
mistaken; and that Bacon was also led into
an error on this subject. In short, the author
thinks that the term toads (crapawds) is only
the name given by stone workers to cavities
found in stone, and which by mineralogists
are called geodes. If living toads have ever
been found in such doubtful situations, he
conceives that what is called stone is only a
block of earth into which the animal had
entered for the purpose of hibernating …
9. Frogs in stones. All the accounts of this
nature are supposed to have passed from
hand to hand without authority, or that frogs
may have fallen into certain holes where
they have found moisture enough to support
life.” [This is an obvious attempt to avoid
the mass of evidence supporting long
continued vitality of toads, etc. found in
stones, and to explain away their occurrence
from an elitist, pretended scientific position].
“M. Blainville, after commending the spirit in which the memoir of M. Vallot is written, stated his belief that the author had not satisfactorily accounted for the numerous precise relations which have been made of events of this nature, such as engravings18 representing the animal in the stone which enclosed it. M. Blainvill, declaring that he had no opinion of his own relative to the reality of the phenomenon acknowledged that he could conceive the possibility of it.
“Mr. Edwards, after bringing into view his researches on the same subject stated that M. Colladon had spoken to him of a toad found in a stone, of which he was an eye witness. Ferussac’s Bulletin Jan. 1827.”

The phenomenon of the myriads of toads in a torpid state, entombed in solid rock, reviving upon exposure to the warming air, then rapidly dying, evidently from the shock of the whole extended experience, supports the relatively long age of the toads and their entombing rock (circa 4,340 years). Another contribution to the shock of the experience comes fror the toads’ entombment in early Noah Flood environmental conditions this continued to be pristine as compared with the much inferior conditions of the liberation from their stone tomb. Environmental conditions at entombment would have been: 1) enhancement by two times the present atmospheric pressure, : enhanced oxygen by 5% over present, : high filtration of the ultraviolet and shortwave radiation by the earth’s canopy and 4) a powerful geomagnetic field shielding earth inhabitants from the radiation. At their liberation: the atmospheric pressure had been reduced to one atmosphere, 2) oxygen reduced by 5%, 3) ultraviolet and short wave radiation increased to high levels, and 4) a rapidly

weakening geomagnetic field that Provided a much reduced protection of the inhabitants from radiation. If a modern toad had entered a rock outcrop along a crevice which later closed, trapping the toad at depth, but still allowing air, moisture, and insects to penetrate to it, when it was dug out and suddenly exposed to the open atmosphere, the toad would not likely have died, because its confinement was of relatively short duration, and its deprivation of life sustaining elements not total.
The occurrence of torpid toads early in the Noahic Flood deposits helps to refine the creation model of origins. The opening of the “windows of heaven”(Genesis 7:11), by the melting action of great blasts of steam from myriads of exploding volcanoes of the great deep’s breakup, must have quickly weakened the earth’s ice canopy. The great rain caused by its malting would have been intermediate in temperature between the freezing point (of canopy ice) and the 50°F below which torpor is induced in the toad. Thus, a rapid cooling of the earth appears to have begun early in the Noahic Flood, leading to a relatively early arrival of the Ice Age as ice canopy remnants buried the mammoths in what are now Arctic regions. As the Antarctic is explored more fully, quick frozen animals may come to light there.
The swift hardening of the rapidly accumulating sedimentary materials entombing the toads and clams, so as to prevent their being dangerously squeezed, relates to the encapsulated track phenomenon19 in central Texas, recently investigated by Creation Evidences Museum staff. There, large tridactyl dinosaurs are known for having had their feet sink exceptionally deep into presumed rapidly hardening, caramel-like sediments. Then, upon removing the foot, the cavity therein produced, sealed over, in preservation of the three-toed, three-dimensional, encapsulated track/cavity. Thus, regions as widely separated as the Erie Canal of New York State, and the state of Texas exhibit a very similar, catastrophic phenomenon of much accelerated hardening of sedimentary materials.
Relative to the possibility of a spark of life being preserved in life forms through dormancy for the circa 4,340 years since the flood of Noah, Barton has reviewed the scientific record of the age of the oldest seeds. He writes: ‘Libbey (1951), using some of the original lot of Ohga seeds which were still viable at that time, tested them with the radiocarbon technique and estimated that they were 1,040± 210 years of age. These are the oldest known viable seeds. . . . Libbey reported, later (1954), that Ohga found three viable Lotus seeds associated with the remains of a canoe discovered about twenty feet below the surface of a lake in Kemigawa, Japan in 1951. The average age of the wood found in this canoe was 3,075±180 years, but this of course does not necessarily indicate the age of the seed: (but is probably relatively close to their age]. There is, however, no doubt that the seed of Nelumbo nucifera is capable of germinating after long periods of storage in a natural condition’.20 Egyptian mummy wheat, reportedly of several thousand years age, has been germinated; but “by far the majority of reporters [scientific] of seeds from tombs … take the view tha the seeds could not possibly be viable, or that a hoax … of some kind is involved (Nicholson, 1932; Anon., 1933; Cifferi 1942; Bunker, 1946)”2′ Wheat lacks the impermeable coat characteristic of long lived seeds like Nelumba’s that seals and maintains the moisture content favorable for retaining viability.
There is a correlation between the dormancy in seeds of plants, and the dormancy in animals, known a torpor/torpidness. The long-lived Nelumbo seed has the impermeable coat stabilizing its moisture content: the animal/torpid toad is confined in impermeable stone (no groundwater movement therein). The impermeable coat stabilizes moisture within the seed, favoring viability: the torpid toad, in impermeable stone at depth

is similarly isolated from changing
temperature, air and water conditions, which also favors its long continued viability.

Even now myriads of undiscovered, entombed living toads lie in torpor in stone in the earth’s higher latitudes awaiting hearers who will ‘But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee” (Job 12:7) .22 When that opportunity to be taught comes via discovery by excavation, who will listen? Some did not when the liberated beasts/toads ‘spoke’ out of the stone of the Erie Canal. ‘Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this?(verse 9).

Referenence and Notes

1. The American Journal of Science and Arts, Benjamin Silliman, editor, Vol. V. 1822, Printed by S. Converse, New Haven, pp. 226-227.
2. Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, William Blackwood, editor, Vol. VI, No. XXXIV, Jan. 1820, Oliver & Boyd, Printers, Edinburgh, pp. 437•438.
3. Beebee, Trevor J.C., 1983, TJA Natteriack Toad, Oxford University Press, p.12.
4. The American Journal of Science and Arts; ibid.
5. Ibid., Vol. IX, p.78.
6. The system of sedimentary rocks lying between the primary system below, and the diluvial and alluvial systems above.
7. Noah’s Flood.
8. The coarser sands, gravels, cobbles, and boulders, sometimes silty and indurated, usually spread like a blanket over secondary rocks, and attributed here to the worldwide hydraulic action of Noah’s Flood.
9. Ibid., Vol. XV,No.2,pp 247-249.
iQ. Ibid., p. 249.
11. Ibid., Vol. XIX,No. 1, pp. 168-169.
12. Toads and frogs are now classified as amphibians.
13. The temperature of a water well nee Tinmouth, Vermont at about the same latitude as that of the Erie Canal, had a temperature of 44°F circa 1790 A.D.–from table on p.54 of The Natural & Civil History of Vermont, V.1 (of 2) by Samuel Williams, LL. D., 1809, printed by Samuel Mills, Burlington, VT.
14, Clay is commonly impermeable to air and water.
15. A live toad found trapped in a tree cavity is known by the tree’s growth rings to have been at least eighty years old: Blackwood’s Edinburg Magazine, William Blackwood, editor Vol. VI, No. XXXIV, Jan. 1820, Oliver & Boyd, Printers, Edinburgh, p 438.
16. The American Journal of Science an( Arts, Vol. XXV, pp. 42-47.
17. Ibid., Vol. XII, pp. 395-396.
18. Perhaps ‘engravings” here is at archaic use of the word rooted in lithography which processes involve some engraving/etching of stone The modern term applicable here is ‘moldings’, hollow forms which art impressions of the toads enveloped by sedimentary materials in a plastic condition and hardening rapidly into stone.
19. Pittman, Jeffrey Gill, 1992 Stratigraphv and Vertebrate Itchnnloqy of the Glen Rose Formation. Westem Gulf Basin. US) , Volume 11, Dissertation, University of Texas at Austin, pp.477-498.
20. Barton, Lela V., 1961, ,seed
preservation and Longevitv
Interscience Publishers, Inc., New
York, p.4.
21. Ibid., p.5.
22. Holy Bible, King James Version.