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Kermit the Frog Has a Real Life Long-Lost Brother

Scientists: "It's still not easy being green."

by Beckett Mufson
Apr 21 2015, 7:00pm

Image via

A new species of glass frog is winning the internet's with its bright green skin, dark eyes, transparent belly, and striking resemblance to the friendliest anthropomorphic amphibian around, Kermit the Frog. One would like to imagine Jim Henson stomping around this new frog species' home in Costa Rica, discovering Hyalinobatrachium dianae long before researcher Brian Kubicki—whose recent research paper about the unique frog's traits sparked the craze—and being inspired to create one of the great icons of puppet-based television programming. But alas, this is not the case.

"When he was first made, all his features were sort of abstract, and he wasn't really a frog, he was more of a lizard," Henson says in a 1990 interview with Regis and Kathie Lee. "He became a frog when we did a show called The Frog Prince."

Sure, it's a bummer—but there's a lot more that makes Kermit unique. "He's one of the very simplest puppets because inside his head there's nothing there but my hand," Henson explains in a presentation with fellow puppeteers Frank Oz and Michael Frith. "There's just a little cloth pattern here, originally used with a couple of ping pong balls [for the eyes], just half spheres. But he's very simple, as far as puppets go... He's virtually a glorified sock puppet." The trio goes on to explain that the simple design is part of what makes Kermit so expressive. Since Henson directly controlled each facial expression with the subtle movements of his fingers—Kermit was literally his right hand man.

Below, enjoy what is sure to be Hyalinobatrachium dianae's theme song once the internet starts photoshopping cups of tea onto all of these amphibians' family photos.

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ANIMALS
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Brian Kubicki
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