Humans in their hectic, day-to-day lives are often too busy rushing about to pause and reflect; to stop, look up, and gaze at the beautiful sky. But perhaps we should pay more attention to matters above, because history shows that when we least expect it, strange things can fall out of the sky and change our lives in an instant.
There have been many reports of bizarre objects falling from the sky—some too crazy to believe. Science can account for some, but not all, of the odd showers. Let’s take a look up to see what has been falling out of the sky …
There have been many recorded incidents of metal spheres and other metallic debris raining down on unsuspecting witnesses. In 2014, odd spheres with jagged crowns were reported to have fallen from the sky in northeastern China. Several of the large balls fell out of the sky, each weighing about 90 pounds.
There was no official explanation for the balls as the Russian Federal Space Agency stated that a failed rocket and satellite test in the same area had completely burned up in the atmosphere, allowing for no remaining fragments.
Surprisingly, metal balls falling from the sky are not uncommon. In 2011, a 13-pound metal sphere plummeted to earth and was found by a farmer in Namibia, Africa. The director of Namibia’s National Forensic Science Institute, Paul Ludik, described it as hollow, and made of a sophisticated metal alloy known to man, but also that it had no identifiable markings. No space agency claimed ownership, but many have suggested it was most likely a fuel tank for storing hydrazine for satellites.
In 2012 yet another metal ball fell from space and landed in a small village in Brazil. The sphere weighed over 100 pounds, and left a startling 3 foot crater in the ground. More amazing than metal spheres falling from the sky is the fact that no one has been hurt or killed by one so far!
Metal objects that fall from the sky are often considered to be space junk or parts of failed projects from the various international space programs.
If you’re bold enough to eat something that’s fallen mysteriously from the sky, you might be in luck as there have been many reports of ‘edible’ goods that rain from above.
In 2011 stunned residents of Coventry, United Kingdom were pelted with apples as more than 100 rained down from seemingly out of nowhere onto a busy motorway, banging off car roofs and rolling around on the ground. The guess by scientists was that a vortex of air had sucked up the fruit and dropped it over the road, but as is often the case in many of these situations, nobody’s quite sure why this phenomenon happens.
Raw poultry pieces fell from the sky onto a teenager taking horseback riding lessons in Virginia in 2012, puzzling onlookers. That isn’t the first time raw meat has fallen from the sky: The Kentucky Meat Shower is a famous incident from 1876 when chunks of red, raw meat fell on a household in Olympia, Kentucky. Witnesses confirmed the strange event, and claimed that the meat tasted like lamb or venison. Disturbingly, during investigations samples of the meat were identified by the Newark Scientific Association as being lung tissue from a either a horse or a human infant! In both the Kentucky case and the horseback riding event, the theories for explanation are that birds had eaten the meat and then had regurgitated it whilst flying overhead. Journalist (and humorist) William Livingston Alden posited at the time, “I think the meat shower was caused by cosmic meat that was floating around in space, which dropped through our atmosphere similarly to meteors.”
Though it is described as a rare meteorological phenomenon, there are countless stories throughout history of animals inexplicably raining down, either during rainstorms or on clear, cloudless days. Roman naturalist and naval commander of the Roman Empire, Pliny the Elder documented fish and frogs falling from the sky as early as in the first century, and as recently as 2012 fish rained down in the Philippines.
A short list of the many animals that have fallen from the sky to astonished witnesses include: tadpoles, jellyfish, snakes, spiders, frogs, worms, snails, birds, and fish.
Many of the animals have water in common, leading experts to suspect that strong waterspouts are sucking up lake or seawater, and the animals that live within, and dumping them inland. However, due to the fact that there are many cases of animal rainfalls which happen during nice weather, and also because scientists confess that waterspouts are only whirling condensation and not strong columns of heavy liquid, the water tornado theory isn’t altogether sound.
Contrary to the old saying “it’s raining cats and dogs”, no reports of dogs or cats raining down exist, although large creatures have fallen from the sky. In 2012 a leopard shark fell out of the blue and landed on a golf course in southern California.
Most disturbingly to witnesses was the 2013 event in Brazil where spiders were seemingly falling from the sky, in what looked like a horror movie come to life. The unnerving sight of thousands of spiders dangling overhead caught worldwide attention. The spiders were not actually raining from the sky, however. Aranchnologist George Uetz told Wired,“This colony is quite large. The web is fixed, although it is very fine and mostly invisible.”
It’s macabre, but true that human bodies and body parts have fallen unexpectedly from the sky. When this happens it’s sometimes due to a stow-away in an airplane wheel-well falling out after dying from the intense cold and lack of air. Occasionally bodies can fall from the sky after a mid-flight collision. Nonetheless, there are some cases which remain mysteriously unsolved.
In 2010 several shocked witnesses in New Jersey saw a man falling head first from the sky, his arms and legs flailing. He had no parachute, and no plane was in the area. Witness Kelly Hale told 6ABCNews that the body landed in a forest across the road from her office. Police and Coast Guard found nothing, and eventually called off the search. Hale remained adamant that the mysterious man was still out there in the trees, saying, “They need to find him. There is somebody laying back there.”
That same year, a man’s thumb fell out of the sky and landed in a parking lot in East London. The gruesome object was discovered by a security guard who had kicked it around in boredom before realizing what it was. Investigators believe a bird may have dropped the thumb from the sky. Tests connected the thumb with a kebab shop owner who had been missing for weeks. The digit eventually linked the missing man to his killers, and they were found guilty of murder the following year.
Perhaps the tales of strange and mysterious items falling from the sky will cause the curious and wary to look up, and wonder at what might rain down next.