‘I noticed that the road itself was moving’: Thousands of toads cover roadway

Published: Jul. 24, 2023 at 7:16 AM EDT

STOCKTON, Utah (KSL) - It looked like a scene out of a horror movie.

Thousands of small toads brought traffic to a standstill in Stockton, Utah, last week.

The toads were crossing a country road, and the sheer volume of them left witnesses and biologists speechless.

“At first I thought, ‘I’m just tired, like, there’s no way,’” Mary Hulet said.

On the way home, drivers suddenly came to a stop in the middle of unusual traffic.

“I noticed that the road itself was moving,” she said.

The two-lane road had turned into an intersection.

“As I looked and I kind of focused on it, I realized that these were frogs or toads that were crossing the road,” Hulet said.

There were tons.

“We aren’t talking like 10 toads. We’re talking like thousands of toads crossing the road,” Hulet said. “I’m like, ‘Is this like toad-mageddon? What in the world is going on here?’”

“The word Biblical came to mind,” said Chris Crockett, the aquatics manager at the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Biologists talked about the video witnesses captured.

“It’s completely natural, but I would definitely say that was a pretty spectacular event,” Crockett said. “We’re probably talking hundreds of thousands of toads.”

They said they believe the banner water year and recent thunderstorms led to the exodus.

“These juvenile toads decided it was a good time to leave their area and out-migrate into some of these surrounding hills,” Crockett said.

Unfortunately, not every toad successfully crossed the road.

“There had been quite a few that had been hit by cars or what not. But that entire swath was about a mile-and-a-quarter long,” Crockett said.

“There was a lot of dragon flies there. So I thought those were dragon fly guts that we were driving on,” Jackson Mather said.

Some witnesses just hated to see so many toads croak.

“That was a really hard thing to see,” Hulet said.

Those were emotions they’d never expected to feel on a late-evening commute.

“I have never seen anything that looked like tens of thousands of frogs,” Hulet said.

Drivers said what they witnessed will stick with them for a long time.