Stranger Things 2: What is a pollywog? The real-life inspiration behind Dustin’s slimeball

Gross or cute?

Spoilers follow for Stranger Things 2 episode 3: The Pollywog

Netflix GIFs – Find & Share on GIPHY

See What’s Next in entertainment and Netflix original series, movies, TV, docs, and comedies. You can stream Netflix anytime, anywhere, on any device.

In the third episode of Stranger Things, Dustin presents his friends with the amphibious-seeming creature he has just found, which initially he calls a pollywog. What is a pollywog exactly?

In real life, pollywogs are the nickname given to tadpoles – the larval stage of toads and frogs. You can see some actual pollywogs below:

#polliwogs #polliwog #tadpoles #tadpole #todayscatch #familyfun

A post shared by Kendra Meguiar (@walking_fit_autism_mom) on

But, as Dustin notes, his pollywog isn’t amphibious: it doesn’t need water to survive. He compares his creature to two terrestrial kinds of frog and tadpole.

The first is the Indirana semipalmata. This leaping frog from India breeds during monsoon season, laying its eggs in wet terrain – tree bark is a favourite food for its young. These pollywogs grow up without ever entering water. You can see a fully grown one below, and its tadpole/pollywog form can be seen here. It’s not that far from Dustin’s creature.

The second terrestrial pollywog he finds is the Adenomera Andreae, from South America. They lay their eggs on the ground during rainy season and they’re really tiny:

Pequeno ser! #adenomeraandreae #encantadoradesapos

A post shared by Nara Lins (@naraaalins) on

Dustin concludes that his creature can’t be a pollywog or a reptile – it hates warmth and sunlight – which must mean it’s a new species.

Exactly what species that is? Well, you’ll have to keep watching Stranger Things 2 to find out…