It sounds like one of the bleaker scenes of the Old Testament: When you hear that things are falling from the sky, it’s only natural for the mind to make that jump. On the other hand, it may also make you think that perhaps we’ve let global warming go too far and the planet really has flipped over somehow. (We should be concerned about that, regardless; don’t get it twisted.)
It has actually happened on occasion throughout the centuries and in vastly different places around the world, albeit not to the point that it should be part of everyone’s disaster preparedness routines. After this list, though, you might find that worth considering!
The Cranstead fish field (1666)
It was midweek, just before Easter that year, when a two-acre field in Cranstead, England found itself covered in pinky-sized fish, according to Anomaly Info’s website.
It’s especially strange because this area is landlocked, and this field was the only one affected after what was recorded as a “great tempest of thunder and rain”.
Calgary catastrophe (1921)
Long story short: a bunch of frogs rained onto 11th Avenue one summer, reported Paul Dunphy in 2018 for Global News. Reports don’t quite cover whether all of the amphibians survived, but North America has seen its fair share of animal downpours, and often the creatures are only stunned for a while.
Showers in Sri Lanka (2014)
Again, this isn’t the first account of weird weather in this part of the world: 2012 saw a pouring down of prawns over the South Asian republic, according to BBC Asia. Eels have also been known to fall into the villagers’ buckets.
The strangest part might be that most of the fish that fell did survive and were perfectly edible, feeding the village for a few days.
Did you know?
Canada seems to be a Weird Rain magnet! In the winter of 1957, live lizards fell all over Montreal; ants pelted windows in Winnipeg in 1895; and fish fell during a monsoon in the town of Moose Jaw in 1903, as detailed in a 2014 article in Maclean’s Canada. 1932 was a particularly strange year, having seen literal duck showers in Banff, and wild geese sadly struck by lightning in Elgin.
Brighton’s bug bomb (2016)
A storm in mid-June in and of itself was nothing new, but the Lowreys and their dog were preparing for a lovely time outside a few days after, only to be “pummelled” by bugs over a 20-square-foot area, according to a 2016 report by Kassandra Lau and Allison Sylte for 9News.
Other areas in Colorado were also affected, and reports say that it was difficult to identify what the insects actually were.
How does this happen?
The usual explanation is a water tornado, also called a waterspout, forming a low-pressure tunnel that picks up lightweight creatures on or near the surface of the water, explained Julia Layton in How Stuff Works.
Following an intense thunderstorm, these whirlwinds can carry the animals miles and miles inland from whence they came.
Migration gone awry (2018)
Just last year, thousands of 15-millimeter insects fell from the sky over the Amginsky District in eastern Russia, as reported in a 2018 article published in RT.com.
This isn’t their first rodeo though; reports of the “Corixidae rain” can also be found, dated just before 1920 as well as in the year 1994. Thankfully, the aquatic bugs pose no threat to the environment or the residents – except perhaps the rather disturbing sight.
Lluvia de Peces (Recurring)
Honduras is not only a fantastic Sabbatical destination and coffee exporter; it’s also the site of regularly occurring fish rain, according to the Atlas Obscura website. In fact, it sometimes even happens twice a year, earning itself a title that makes it sound like a festival.
Though the explanation for the phenomenon is much the same as the others, the priests in the town of Yoro liked to say that they prayed for sustenance for their hungry citizens, and that this annual downpour was the Lord’s answer.
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