For centuries, we have all heard stories of strange occurrences around the world. One of the most popular phenomenon involves literal animals falling from the sky. While the most popular incidents involve fish or amphibians, there are several cases in which people claim to have seen other animals and insects fall from above as well. There are plenty of people that have offered many different explanations as to why these events occur, but can any of these theories be proven? What exactly causes these crazy events in nature?
What Do We Know About Animals Falling From the Sky?
Many incidences have been documented over the past few centuries. In February 1891, in Randolph County, West Virginia – it was witnessed a series of occasions over the winter months in which the ground was covered in a thick layer of worms. They had seemingly fallen either with or after the snow, as it was already over 24 inches deep before the worms’ discoveries. It was said that the amount of worms was abundant enough that a “square foot of snow can scarcely be found on some days without a dozen of these worms on it.” After a few weeks, the worms fell to the ground less and less frequently until they finally stopped altogether.
More recently, on October 23, 1947 in Marksville, Louisiana, large amounts of different types of fish fell to the ground. At the time, the weather was calm and it was not raining, although it was somewhat foggy. The fish came raining down without warning and included largemouth bass, sunfish, shad and minnows. Some of them were frozen and others merely cold but all were said to be fit for human consumption. The fish came down into an area that was about 1,000 feet long and 75 or 80 feet wide and a number of them struck people who happened to be on the street at the time. A.D. Barkov, a biologist for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife claimed “There were spots on Main Street in the vicinity of the bank, averaging one fish per square yard. Automobiles and trucks were running over them”. The South is actually the most popular place for these events to take place, and it is thought to be partly due to the humid climate known for heavy rains and storms.
What Explanations Do We Have So Far?
The more we are able to study the phenomena of ‘animals falling from the sky’, the more information we can gather about them and the possible reasons they occur. This information has helped scientists come up with several hypotheses. One of the more popular theories is the presence of strong winds. French physicist André-Marie Ampère, the first notable scientist to begin speaking on the mysterious events, offered this idea at a meeting of the Society of Natural Sciences, suggesting that strong winds could lift large groups of small animals into the air and cause them to “rain” down.
Waterspouts are another likely justifiable cause according to several scientists. Waterspouts are rotating columns of water and spray formed by a whirlwind occurring over the sea or other body of water, much like a tornado traveling over a lake or ocean. It’s believed these spouts are capable of sucking up small fish and other animals from the bodies of water, sometimes releasing the animals in another spot due to the fact the spout travels rapidly from location to location.
Although many people have studied these peculiar instances over many decades, there is still not enough data to safely assume one cause or another. All we can do now is keep investigating these occurrences. Until we figure out the cause, though, these stories will continue to be some of the most interesting tales of our time – whether they’re exaggerated or not.