Raining Fish from the Skies
Rare Meteorological Phenomenon
|Raining Fish from the Skies
Rare Meteorological Phenomenon
Raining Fish is a story that has been told for centuries.
Sometimes they fall in a frozen state while others survive the journey.
Many different types of species have fallen from the sky. One theory
states that it may be strong winds such as whirlwinds that scoop up the
species and then carries them for several miles.
The most common types
of species that have been reported have been fish, frogs and lastly
|Raining animals is a rare meteorological
phenomenon, although occurrences have been reported from many countries
One hypothesis that has been offered to explain this
phenomenon is that strong winds traveling over water sometimes pick up
creatures such as fish or frogs, and carry them for up to several miles.
However, this primary aspect of the phenomenon has never been witnessed
or scientifically tested. The animals most likely to drop from the sky
in a rainfall are fish, frogs and birds, in that order.
Sometimes the animals survive the fall, especially fish, suggesting the
animals are dropped shortly after extraction.
Several witnesses of
raining frogs describe the animals as startled, though healthy, and
exhibiting relatively normal behavior shortly after the event.
In some incidents, however, the animals are frozen to death or even
completely encased in ice.
There are examples where the product of the
rain is not intact animals, but shredded body parts. Some cases occur
just after storms having strong winds, especially during tornadoes.
However, there have been many unconfirmed cases in which rainfalls of
animals have occurred in fair weather and in the absence of strong winds
Rains of animals (as well as rains of blood or
blood-like material, and similar anomalies) play a central role in the
epistemological writing of Charles Fort, especially in his first book,
The Book of the Damned.
raining from the skies is a rare event that has been recorded throughout
The most credible theory as to why this may occur has to do with waterspouts, however the theory does not account for how all the
animals involved in each individual incident would be from only one
species, and not a group of similarly-sized animals from a single area.
Fish Falling from the Skies
A scientific explanation for the phenomenon has been developed that involves waterspouts. Waterspouts are capable of capturing objects and animals and lifting them into the air.
Under this theory, waterspouts or tornado's transport animals to relatively high altitudes, carrying them over large distances.
Fort collected stories of these events and used them both as evidence and as a metaphor in challenging the claims of scientific explanation.
The English language idiom "it is raining cats and dogs" (As well as its Swiss-German equivalent, "Raining frogs and snakes"), referring to a heavy downpour, is of uncertain etymology, and there is no evidence that it has any connection to the "raining animals" phenomenon.
French physicist André-Marie Ampère was among the first scientists to take seriously accounts of raining animals. He tried to explain rains of frogs with a hypothesis that was eventually refined by other scientists.
Speaking in front of the Society of Natural Sciences, Ampère suggested that at times frogs and toads roam the countryside in large numbers, and that the action of violent winds can pick them up and carry them great distances.
More recently, a scientific explanation for the phenomenon has been developed that involves waterspouts.
Waterspouts are capable of capturing objects and animals and lifting them into the air.
Under this theory, waterspouts or tornados transport animals to relatively high altitudes, carrying them over large distances.
The winds are capable of carrying the animals over a relatively wide area and allow them to fall in a concentrated fashion in a localized area. More specifically, some tornadoes can completely suck up a pond, letting the water and animals fall some distance away in the form of a rain of animals.
This hypothesis appears supported by the type of animals in these rains: small and light, usually aquatic. It is also supported by the fact that the rain of animals is often preceded by a storm.
However the theory does not account for how all the animals involved in each individual incident would be from only one species, and not a group of similarly-sized animals from a single area.
In the case of birds, storms may overcome a flock in flight, especially in times of migration. These events may occur easily with birds in flight. In contrast, it is harder to find a plausible explanation for rains of terrestrial animals; the enigma persists despite scientific studies.
Sometimes, scientists have been incredulous of extraordinary claims of rains of fish. For example, in the case of a rain of fish in Singapore in 1861, French naturalist Francis de Laporte de Castelnau explained that the supposed rain took place during a migration of walking catfish, which are capable of dragging themselves over the land from one puddle to another.
Thus, he argued that the appearance of fish on the ground immediately after a rain was easily explained, as these animals usually move over soft ground or after a rain.
List of animals that have been reported to fall from the skies:
- Singapore, February 22nd, 1861
- Olneyville, Rhode Island, May 15th, 1900
- Bhanwad, Jamnagar, India, Oct 24th, 2009
- Lajamanu, Northern Territory, Australia, February 25th and 26th, 2010
- Marksville, Louisiana, October 23rd, 1947
Frogs and toads
- Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, June 2009 (Occurrences reported throughout the month)
- Rákóczifalva, Hungary, June 18th-20th, 2010 (two times)
- An unidentified animal (thought to be a cow) fell
in California ripped to tiny pieces on August 1st, 1869; a similar
incident was reported in Olympian Springs, Bath County, Kentucky in 1876
- Jellyfish fell from the sky in Bath, England, in 1894
- Worms dropped from the sky in Jennings, Louisiana, on July 11th, 2007.
- Spiders fell from the sky in Salta Province, Argentina on April 6th, 2007.
A rain of fish is a term used to describe the rare occasion of when fish fall from the sky after being picked up by an approaching tornado and subsequently dropped onto land.
This is the main theory behind why this phenomenon occurs.
Not only have there been reports of different types of animals falling from the sky but even stones, pebbles and rocks have been reported to fall from the sky as well.