Raining Fish and Frogs: Legend or History?

March 7, 2010 Updated: September 29, 2015

A recent report in Northern Territory News has provided evidence that food falling from the sky is more than a legend. It was reported that on Feb. 25 and 26, fish landed like rain on Lajamanu, Australia, 200 miles from the coast.

The fish, believed to be a small white type called the spangled perch, are common in northern Australia. The fish were alive when they fell.

Residents from Lajamanu, Maningrida, and Hermannsburg have told the Northern Territory News about their experiences of seeing the raining fish. One said that, when he was a child, his peers would go fishing in an oval (an Australian football field) when fish fell from the sky.

Villagers in Yoro, Honduras, are accustomed to preparing containers like buckets and basins every year during the rainy season between May and July in expectation of the annual fish-fall from the sky.

Although there are no other cases quite as cyclic and repetitive as Yoro’s, the raining down of aquatic animals, amphibians, and other even more bizarre things have occurred in other areas.

U.S. researcher Charles Fort (1874–1932) spent years studying foreign rains. He collected about 60,000 clippings from newspapers, magazines, and other sources about unusual occurrences. Throughout his career, Fort managed to record instances of raining crosses, coins, snakes, ancient Chinese stamps, blood, frogs, insects, cotton, oils, and liquid substances.

Northern Territory News cited Australian Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Ashley Patterson, who attempted to explain the fish rain in Australia. His theory is not unlike that of many other scientists who believe that fish can be sucked up into the clouds by twisters, waterspouts, or tornados, travel with the clouds, and then fall down again, landing away from their site of origin.

“With an updraft, [fish and water picked up] could get up high—up to 60,000 or 70,000 feet,” Patterson said. “Or [it is] possibly from a tornado over a large water body—but we haven’t had any reports.”

However, in the majority of cases, this theory doesn’t seem to explain why only a particular animal or object would fall from the sky. Why would a current of air choose to lift up, for example, all the frogs from a lagoon without taking the water, mud, algae, and other species from that very same ecosystem?

The explanation becomes much less plausible when, like in the case of the fish rain in Australia, there are no bodies of water nearby, and neither hurricanes nor tornados were recorded at the moment of or during the days prior to the anomaly.

Some also try to explain the falling of man-made objects as objects falling from airplanes, but that could not have happened without people seeing the airplanes.

In many cases, people tend to attribute such phenomena to experiments by alien craft or to a dimensional crossroads, where things suddenly materialize or disappear from the skies. In some instances the phenomena have been blamed on a “cosmic joker,” referring to a higher being with nothing more to do than be entertained by humans’ reactions to such strange rains.

Until today, material rainfalls have done nothing more than to generate doubt, since these events have been recorded in documents like the Bible and in ancient Egyptian writings.

Are these selective waterspouts? Are they weather phenomena that are perfectly explainable? Are they messages from the gods? Whatever the case, the next time the sky darkens you’d better be forewarned; it may not just be a watery downpour.

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