Fraggles are one of the most mysterious creatures known to man. Their life cycle is so strange, so bizarre, so truly alien that experts (often known as Fraggtologists) are only barely beginning to scratch the surface of what these amazing creatures have to teach us.
Fraggles live underground, in a distributed cave system known as colloquially as Fraggle Rock. The location of these caves is hotly disputed, with some claiming they are located under a light house in Cornwall, others believing is under laboratory in North America (or possibly Germany), while some even put forward the outlandish theory that they can be found under a bakery in France!
Fraggles are a member of the Muppetus Hensonus family, but are far smaller than the common "small" Muppet, European Cookie Monster, or lesser spotted Yoda, standing only a few inches tall. They exhibit the foamatic-like bodies and tufty hair that is common to all species within this family, as well as the tendency to express strong emotions through elaborate song and dance routines. Tests performed on Fraggles in captivity seem to indicate a high IQ level, roughly equal to that of a dolphin or a chimpanzee. Unlike these animals, fraggles are not inclined to use tools-- apart from musical instruments. When a fraggle must use a tool, they are often little more than sharp rocks or sticks. Exactly how a non-tool using creature evolved to such a high degree of sentience is a mystery. Fraggles subsist on a diet of radishes and Doozer sticks, meaning they rarely get their five a day vegetable dosage that doctors recommend. The high amounts of E numbers and artificial sweeteners in Doozer sticks go a long way to explaining the hyper active behaviour of your average fraggle. Like all members of the M. Hensonus family, fraggles give live birth to fully developed young. Two or three fraggles birthed at a time are not uncommon, however, more are very rare. For several months the young nurse. Nursing in fraggles is a bonding experience for both mother and child, though the young wean quickly. For the next few months the parent regurgitates doozer sticks and radish dust to the fraggles before the young can hunt and feed on their own.
Symbiotic relationship- The Mystery of the Fraggles
The aspect of Fraggles that has baffled scientists and researches the most, is their quasi-symbiotic relationship with the species known as Doozers. These diminutive hard hat wearing, green beings also appear to be a member of the Muppetus Hensonus Family. They are highly industrious. Constantly constructing elaborate structures from a substance known as Doozer sticks their work never ends. The supply unknown, the sticks appear to be clear, plastic-like tubes providing a strong and durable building material. The Sticks are known to be made of radishes, the staple food of the Fraggle. These Doozer Sticks provide a large part of each Fraggles diet. The Fraggles will descend on the Doozers constructions, eating many times their own body weight in sticks before moving on to other endeavors. What is truly curious about this behaviour is that the Doozers make no attempt to stop their hard work being eaten by the Fraggles, in that they simply continue building around them. So far, scientists have been unable to determine what the purpose of these vast Doozer constructions, beyond providing food for passing Fraggles. This great mystery has baffled mankind ever since Fraggles were first discovered. Many believe that if we could only unlock the secrets of the Fraggle/Doozer/Radish relationship, we might gain some insight into ourselves and our place in the universe. Many competing theories have been put forward to try to explain this bizarre behaviour.
The Doozers-Farm-Fraggles theory
This theory suggests that rather then Fraggles preying off the Doozers hard work (as might first appear), the Doozers are in fact the predators. They provide an ample supply of Doozer sticks in order to lure the peaceful, but dim witted Fraggles close. The Doozers would need to wait patiently for a Fraggle to become isolated before striking, in order to avoid spooking the others. Though physically larger than a Doozer, a Fraggle could be brought down by the industrious, well organized Doozers in several ways. Using sharpened Doozer Sticks as tiny spears, Doozers could quickly swarm a Fraggle, in order to bring it down. This would involve a risk of high losses amongst the Doozers before they could bring down the flailing Fraggle. A more popular explanation amongst researchers is that the Doozers use their knowledge of construction to set traps for a Fraggles. A hidden pit containing Doozer Punji sticks smeared with feces would be ideal for trapping and killing a lone Fraggle, whose carefree and oblivious nature would make them unlikely to spot the danger till it was too late. Another option might be some sort of large crossbow or Ballistae that could launch a single, very large Doozer stick directly into a Fraggles heart providing a swift, clean kill. Critics of this theory point out that while a Fraggle is indeed a relatively stupid animal, even they would surely notice if members of their community were periodically disappearing. This criticism is usually countered in two ways. Firstly, Doozers being very small and having a relatively slow metabolism, would only need to kill a Fraggle infrequently, as one Fraggle could feed an entire Doozer community for several weeks. Secondly, this theory supports claim that there already is evidence of Fraggles being taken (e.g. Uncle Travelling Matt). Doozers could easily fake letters from Uncle Matt keeping his relatives happy and placid while they lay their eggs within his festering innards and their Doozer young feed on his rotting corpse. If this is true, it is only a matter of time before other Fraggles decide to go “travelling”. This theory was first suggested by H.G. Wells, which became the basis of his book, The Time Machine. The analogy of the book, with Morlocks and Eloi representing Doozers and Fraggles respectively, is quite obvious.
A recent movement has formed among Fraggltologists that rejects the above theory, suggesting that previous researchers have critically misunderstood the nature of the Fraggle/Doozer symbiosis, confusing the farmer with the live stock. Humans often farm cows, pigs, or sheep to provide a source of food. Some scientists have put forth the theory that the Fraggles are actually farming the Doozers. Similar to how some species of ants "capture" workers from other ant colonies to provide food, some scientists believe that the current Doozer population at Fraggle Rock was actually derived from Doozer stock from elsewhere. Since the Fraggles do not actually seem to eat the Doozers, the Fraggles have an unlimited source of food at their disposal, much like the way a diary farmer makes use of a cow. Perhaps they could add some meat to their diet by devouring the occasional Doozer (one too old to keep producing sticks, or an unwanted male). Such a rare treat would probably be reserved for some sort of wile celebration to fierce, pagan Fraggle gods. This might have come about when, long in the ancient past, one tribe of Fraggles defeated a physically smaller and weaker tribe and enslaved them to provide a foodstuff. Over time the Fraggle "masters" might have become more and more spoiled and ignorant, becomming the silly and confusing animals we see today, while still maintaining a size advantage that is enough to intimidate the hard working Doozer's into obedience. The main problem with this theory is that it requires the Fraggles to behave in an organised and tactical manner in order to capture the Doozers in the first place. All experience of Fraggles in the wild suggests they are not capable of organising a root vegetable party in a radish factory, let alone a successful farming system. How would a farm managed and maintained by Fraggles possibly deal with a failed harvest or unrest amongst the Doozers? Without proper planning (which the Fraggles are clearly incapable of), this system would be incredibly vulnerable to collapse.
Ants are known to protect aphids in exchange for the food they produce. Since Doozers are small and relatively vulnerable creatures, many have suggested that they enjoy a similar relationship with Fraggles. Doozers produce Doozer sticks in order to draw Fraggles close by to keep them safe from some other, more dangerous predators. So far though, scientists have been unable to agree on what form this predator might take. Fraggles are not aggressive creatures and give no indication of being aware of any Doozer eating predator, so whatever they do to repel the predator would have to be involuntary and without their knowing it. Three main theories exist to explain what the predator might be-
Lions are large, ferocious cats, with large appetites. They would need to consume vast quantities of Doozers in order to stay alive. Being very large, a lion would not get a lot of sustenance from a Doozer, so might be easily distracted by a larger, more filling meal of Fraggle. This theory gained support in the mid to late 60’s but has since been largely rejected by most mainstream researchers. Lions live mostly in Africa, eating large herd animals. They have never been observed under ground and the hundreds of Doozers and Fraggles they would need to consume each day make this theory unworkable.
Skeletor is the evil Lord of Destruction, who uses his considerable powers to spread misery and pain on all those who refuse to submit to his rule. While Skeletor would be unlikely to want to eat a Doozer, destroying them and their hard work would provide the evil one with a great deal of entertainment, as he relaxes between battles with He-Man. Indeed, it has been argued that after suffering so many defeats at the hands of He-Man, Skeletor might be glad to take on these, much more vulnerable, enemies. Skeletor, despite his many powers, is known to have one great weakness. As we all learned in the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special, Skeletor cannot stand good feelings, friendliness, sharing or other heart warming emotions. These can not only disgust Skeletor, forcing him to withdraw, but also cause him to temporarily turn nice, an experience the Lord of Destruction would not repeat if he could possibly avoid it. Fraggle are friendly, insipid, sickeningly heart warming creatures and so they would be well suited for repelling Skeletor. The main draw back to this theory is that Skeletor lives on the Planet Eternia, and to date their have been no recorded sightings of Doozers or Fraggles on Eternia.
Mr Spock is a Vulcan, and as such has green blood (due to it being based on copper rather than iron). A creature with such a metabolism would not be able to consume red blooded animals, such as earth mammals. Doozers are noticeably green, suggesting that they too have copper in their blood, meaning they would make ideal food for a Vulcan. Vulcan’s are known to be vegetarian, but were omnivorous in the past, so it is likely they still maintain the ability to consume meat. While normally Mr Spock might not indulge in meat eating, every seven years, Vulcans enter their mating cycle, known as the Pon Farr. During this time, Vulcan’s become savage and aggressive, so moral concerns about eating meat would no longer be an issue. Also, Mr Spock might well require a diet of meat at this time, as he would be burning far greater amounts of energy than normal. Mr Spock is also highly logical, like all Vulcans, seeking order above all things. It is for this reason that he would be vulnerable to Fraggles. Fraggles are, without doubt, the most ridiculous, illogical and down right silly creature known to Star Fleet and even in the grip of the Pon Farr,Spock would be left utterly stunned by such creatures, giving any Doozer nearby ample time to escape.
In ancient, Pagan times, many people believed that Fraggles were in the fact the gods of the Doozer. Much like the ancient Greek or Roman gods, the Fraggles would walk amongst the mortals (in this case, the Doozers). This would explain why the Doozers make no attempt to resist the Fraggles, since they would be helpless against the awesome, omnipotent powers of the gods! The only hope would be if the Doozers could please the Gods, with a large offering of Doozer sticks, then the Doozers might be spared. But if the offering was no sufficient, then the gods might grow angry, and bring down terrible destruction on the Doozers! The only hope would then be to offer up a sacrifice of a young Doozer virgin, but often even this would not be enough to save them from the terrible wrath of their immoral masters! It was truly a time of myth and legend, when ancient Fraggle gods were pety and cruel and plagued Doozer kind with suffering. Only one Doozer dared to challenge their power- DOOZERCLES! Doozercles possessed a strength that Fraggle Rock had never seen, a strength surpassed only by the power of his heart. He journeyed Fraggle Rock, battling the minions of his wicked step mother Red, the all powerful queen of the Fraggles. Where ever there were Doozer sticks, where ever an innocent Doozer would suffer, there would be DOOZERCLES! (Legends also tell of a spin off series, Xoozer, warrior Doozer princess). Though the archaeological records are incomplete, we can build up a picture of what the Fraggle Pantheon might have looked like-
- Gobo-King of the Gods, the leader and most powerful of the gods, father of Doozercles.
- Red-Queen of the Gods, primarily responsible for fire. Red was said to have a fierce temper, and could quickly turn against the Doozers who displeased her, incinerating them for their blasphemy!
- Mokey- This hippie-like, artistic Fraggle is believed to have been the goddess of nature, the harvest and marijuana. She was considered the least dangerous of all the gods. Mainly because she was constantly stoned.
- Wembley- The insane trickster god. Often appearing indecisive, Wembley was in fact laying trick and puzzles with which to test the Doozers and see if they were worthy.
- Boober- The most feared of all the Fraggle gods, whose name the Doozers would only speak in fear and dread. Boober was the Fraggle god of death, coming to claim the souls of all Doozers. This was personified in his depressed nature and his hypochondriac tendencies (reminding all Doozers of how close they were to death).
- Uncle Travelling Matt- This is the ancient Fraggle god about whom we know the least. Some experts believe he was seen as the messenger of the gods, much like Hermes in the Greek myths, taking the gods wishes to the mortals.
Others believe his role was more like that of the titans, with Uncle Matt like Cronus, who is over thrown by Zues (ie Gobo) and then sent into exile.
Obviously, these days no one believes such ridiculous pagan superstition. Instead, we worship the one, true God- Jim Henson. Followers of Henson, or Hensonists, state that Henson created Fraggle Rock in seven days and the reason things there do not make sense is that Henson willed it to be that way and he will only explain the reasons for this after we die. Failure to believe what Henson teaches is said to deliver one into the service of the Gorgs (ie satan). Scientists reject this idea as superstition but it has also come under attack on philosophical grounds. Many question whether a loving, all powerful Jim Henson would allow the Doozers to suffer such toil and misery? Controvery on this topic continues as the Kansas State Education Board is considering plans to teach this view of Fraggles in school, stating they should teach both sides of the Fraggle controversy.
The main source of information on Fraggles come from the dog Sprocket, who on many occasions claims to have seen tiny Fraggles running along the floor and into a hole in the wall. But many questions surround Sprockets testimony. Why does only Sprocket ever see the Fraggles? Why does Sprockets owner vary so greatly (light house keeping, baker, inventor etc)? Why is a dog giving testimony anyway? One explanation for this is that poor Sprocket is being fed hallucinogenic drugs by his uncaring master, who is in fact a good for nothing beatnik, too stoned to get a job and scrounging off benefits instead. In the hazy fantasy world that the poor canine begins to see around him, his owner morphs into various strange guises and tiny creatures begin to scurry around him. Before long his fantasy becomes so deep that he is no longer visible, merely watching the strange events unfolding in front of him but unable to affect them. So the Fraggles relationship with the Doozers, indeed the very forms and existences of the Fraggles become nothing more then a projection of Sprockets own fears, prejudices and emotions, holding no deeper meaning then to high light the extent of cruelty to animals that still goes on in the world. This possibility, chilling as it may be, is largely discounted by researchers. This is due to the fact that if it was true, it would mean Fraggles don’t exist, which is just ridiculous!
Fraggles are Baby Doozers Theory
Children are really annoying. They run around, they break things, they dont listen, they get their heads stuck in places and worst of all they never do any damn work! Grown ups have to slave away all day, hard at work while kids just lay about watching MTV and listening to Snoopy-Dog or whoever they are listening to these days. These are all well established facts, that have been proven with science. But they also offer an insight into a possible explanation for Doozer/Fraggle relations. Fraggles exhibit all the playful, pointless, annoying behaviour of small children, while Doozers show the grim, slightly irritated behaviour of adults. Fraggles are, if this theory is to be believed, simply enjoying their childhood, before they become old enough to become adult Fraggles (Doozers) and go to work in a soul destroying job for the rest of their lives. Obviously, if this theory is true, Fraggle and Doozer society is amazingly similar to our own. Some have raised the question of why the adult form of the creature would be so much smaller then its offspring and why they would appear to radically different. While unusual, this type of size and appearance difference does occur in nature. For example-Tadpoles are radically different to Frogs and Caterpillars are not only different but often far larger then the Butterflys they later become. So from a biological point of view, this theory is plausible.
Fraggles worship a being called "The Trash Heap". The origin if "The Trash Heap" dates back as far as a month before the existence of Fraggles. As legend has it, "The Trash Heap" intended to make fraggles in her own image, but changed her mind when she got a glimpse of herself in a small puddle of water. She then decided anything was better than that, and went about creating fraggles. (Her choices being limited, as Humans and dogs were already copyrighted.) The primordial materials used to make the first Fraggles are unknown.
Perhaps one day mankind will advance enough to the point that we can claim to understand the true meaning of Fraggles, but for now we will have to be content to observe and marvel at these truly amazing animals.
- Annoying tendency.