We’ve all heard the expression “it’s raining cats and dogs” but what about raining fish? It might seem far-fetched, but it is a rare phenomenon that happens. Many countries throughout history have reported fish rain.
One theory behind this occurrence is that tornadic waterspouts create a vacuum and bring the fish into the clouds. Some tornadoes can be strong enough to suck in entire ponds. This theory does make sense because most animal rains are aquatic animals. Storms of frogs and fish have been documented throughout history. The animals that are in this phenomenon are often small and light, so this could be a reasonable explanation. Other animals that are seen include jellyfish, worms, and spiders.
Meteorologists are skeptical that waterspouts cause this to happen, and updrafts might be the cause. This could be the cause in instances where bats or birds are the rain. As the clouds move along the land, heavy objects fall first. It also explains why animal rain has typically one type of animal.
Raining animals are seen in countries like Spain, France, India, Ethiopia, Singapore, and the United States. You may have seen it happen in the movie Sharknado, and surprisingly, it’s based on real-life occurrences.
Occurrences of Animal Rain
In 1823, a botanist and explorer named Alexander Von Humboldt wrote about the volcanic eruption of Mt. Carihuairazo in Ecuador, and it covered 43 square miles with mud and fish.
Sometimes, the animals are still alive and can be seen moving once they hit the earth. Other times, they are deceased.
Certain people explain this by saying the storms force animals out of their homes, and then they fill the streets. Others attribute it to weather patterns.
The Rain of Fish
In Honduras, the phenomena of it raining fish is a yearly occurrence. It is called “Lluvia de Peces.” The small town of Yoro has this happen once and sometimes twice a year. During massive rainstorms, thousands of tiny silver fish will descend on the city along with the rain.
The history of the rain of fish goes back to the 1800s. Around May or June, fish will rain the streets of this small town. After the heavy rain clears, fish can be seen flapping in the streets.
In the 1970s, National Geographic documented the rain of fish. This brings credibility to the story, although it was not 100% proven that the fish were coming from the sky.
There is a religious explanation in the town for the cause of the animal rain. A Catholic priest living in the area named Father Jose Manuel Subirana prayed marathon prayers to God for sustenance which ended in a storm that gave them fish to eat. There is a yearly festival that began in 1998 where participants carry effigies of the priest.
One of the most bizarre things about the rain of fish is that it does not have fish that are local to the area, and are carried over 200 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.