Frog fraud? Paleontologist finds a strange Stranger Things continuity error in Season 2

Contributed by
Mar 26, 2021, 6:00 PM EDT (Updated)

As its millions of fans know, Stranger Things has almost perfectly captured the look and feel of the early 1980s. We say “almost,” because there are a few continuity errors. Barb's Season 1 car wasn’t produced until 1988, and the Demogorgon figurine seen in Season 1 — which kicks off in 1983 — is straight outta 1984. Also, Steve would have said “Kentucky Fried Chicken,” not “KFC.” But now a scientist has found something even more obscure.

Spoiler warning: Key plot points revealed ahead.

In a scene in Stranger Things 2's third episode, Dustin — who had found a rather curious creature in his home's trash bin — tries to determine exactly what it is, and whether it's a species of frog. Could it be one of those tadpoles that develop terrestrially — that is, outside water? He researches and comes across the Indirana semipalmata.

Not so fast, says Christian Kammerer, the paleontology curator at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The frog wasn’t named until two years later, in 1986.

In an interview with The Verge, Kammerer said that he enjoyed Dustin’s intellectual curiosity and legwork. “The creators of the show did great work in getting it right. A lot of shows just would not bother to look up that scientific information,” he said.

Still, it was highly unlikely that the tadpole was Indirana semipalmata: This species is found in India — not Indiana.

Of course, Dustin's discovery was a wholly different species altogether...