The rain of fish and other animals

Since ancient times numerous rains of animals have been recorded. This unusual phenomenon, as unlikely as it may seem, has happened in dozens of places in the world and millions of people have witnessed these precipitations. 

Among the most common animals that fall “from the sky” are fish, frogs, shrimp and birds. For more than a century, in Yoro, a town in Honduras, there has been a rain of fish every year between the months of May and June. For a couple of hours, the inhabitants can witness a rain of fish that vary between five and eight centimeters and when the storm ends, people usually pick them up from the ground and cook them at home to celebrate the feast “fallen from the sky”.

This strange natural phenomenon is inexplicable for many, so it is attributed to myths and religious beliefs as the possibility of a gift or, failing that, a divine punishment. On other occasions, attempts have been made to explain the rain of animals by relating it to UFOs or teleportation.

The scientific explanation says that this bizarre event is caused by a waterspout or “water hose” which is a funnel containing an intense vortex or whirlpool , which occurs over a body of water, usually connected to a cumuliform cloud. The tornado usually sucks up small fish from a river, carries them up into a thundercloud, and eventually the fish plummet to the ground.

Some fish do not survive the impact, others are still alive when they are found and some more fall frozen because they have gone through some phase with temperatures below zero degrees. In addition to this annual fish rain, there have been numerous animal rains in the world. Some examples are the rain of frogs that occurred in Massachusetts in 1953, the rain of dead canaries in Maryland, United States in 1969 or the rain of crabs in New South Wales, Australia in 1978.

In more recent dates, 2007, there is a record of a rain of spiders in Salta, Argentina. In the same year it rained small frogs in Alicante, Spain and finally, the most recent event on record occurred in 2012, with a shrimp storm in southern Sri Lanka.

In literature and popular culture, this phenomenon has been referred to countless times. For example, Alexandre Dumas, in his novel About him Captain Pánfilo , described a rain of toads that caused one of the characters to become delirious:

…remembered having read, a few days before, signed by Valenciennes, that this city had been the theater of a singular phenomenon: a rain of toads had fallen accompanied by thunder and lightning in such quantity that the streets of the city and the roofs of the houses had been covered. Immediately afterwards, the sky, which had been ash gray two hours earlier, was now indigo blue. The Constitutionnel subscriber looked up into the air and seeing the inky black sky and Tom in his garden, unaware of the manner in which he had entered, began to believe that a phenomenon similar to that of Valenciennes was about to repeat itself, with the The only difference was that instead of being raining frogs, it was going to rain bears. One was no more dangerous than the other; the hail was bigger and more dangerous.

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