Fish Rain From the Sky

Fish rain is such an unusual natural phenomenon that it is hard to believe. Fish falling from the sky, really? Well, that certainly happens, and quite often! Moreover, in some places, it is a regular thing. And yet, there are many legends about such rains. That's why this phenomenon deserves detailed consideration based on proven facts.

Fish Rain From the Sky

Short facts and answers

Does Fish Rain Have a Mystical Origin?

Nope! Actually, it is driven by a tornado that sweeps over the water. The tornado lifts tons of water into the air and nearby fish and other animals. This water mass may travel hundreds of kilometers away and fall down raining water and fish.

Does It Rain Only Fish?

Historians had recorded many cases when it rained different living organisms: fish, birds, mice, frogs, snakes, and even shrimp and spiders!

How Rare Is This Phenomenon?

In the city of Yoro, Honduras, people experience this basically every year. At least once a year, from May to July, it rains fish there. Locals even started celebrating a festival dedicated to this unusual event.

Why Does Blood Fall from the Sky?

Water vapor rises high up, cools down, condenses on dust and particles, and then rains down. It may take a variety of colors. As a result, it's not only red-colored rain that occurs in different parts of the Earth, but it also may be white, yellow, black, etc.

Mystical Story of Rain

Just imagine what it's like to be a superstitious medieval Christian brought up on terrible Egyptian legends, one of which says that frogs came from nowhere and infested Egypt, when one morning you go outside and see the street teeming with frogs. Well, you have nothing to do but take all your money, rush to the church to pray for forgiveness, and put up hundreds of candles.

But it's not mysticism that's to blame here. It's all about strong wind, or rather a waterspout. Think about those numerous videos with a terrible hurricane sweeping everything from the ground — from frame houses to cars. And now imagine what happens when it goes over a lake, river, or ocean. It naturally sucks a huge amount of water up and lifts it to a great height. If there are aquatic animals nearby, bad luck. They will also rise up to the sky and sail in the clouds until the tornado blows over. After that, the water will rain down on the ground below. After all, fish falling from the sky will spice the usual rainfall up and make it special.

What “Additive” May Rain Contain?

According to eyewitness accounts, it is mostly fish. And it's not a surprise—fish thrives in almost all water bodies—from small lakes to deep oceans. However, aquatic inhabitants are not the only creatures that tornados make use of. Digging into history can reveal the rains that have absolutely nothing to do with fish.

In 1578, it rained big yellow mice in Bergen, Norway. In 1877, the USA saw quite large snakes—up to half a meter long—falling from the sky. Three years later, in Spain, it even rained quails. The 20th century witnessed shrimps, fish, frogs, spiders, blackbirds, jackdaws, and other animals falling from the sky in different parts of the Earth.

What May the Fish Rain Be Like?

Speaking of the fish rain, most people picture alive marine and river inhabitants jumping from one puddle to another. Yes, that’s it sometimes. This indicates that the hurricane took place not so far, and fish hadn't time to "fly for a while." But sometimes, things may be completely different! Scientists recorded many cases when fish fell from the sky...frozen in pieces of ice. It means it was lifted up very high— into the layers of the atmosphere where the temperature drops below 0 degrees Celsius. It turns out that the fish spent many hours in the sky. Getting hit by a herring frozen in a half–kilogram piece of ice must not be the most pleasant feeling!

Colored and Blood Rain

Red or blood rain Another fascinating but a bit creepy thing is colored rain. It horrifies superstitious people, especially the red one being associated with blood. But don't hurry to the church— science explained this phenomenon long ago.

The red or blood rain is for sure of everyone's most interest. It's more common in Europe (this kind of rain happened about ten times in the south and southeast of the continent only in the 19th century), but it can also be seen in Africa. It's all about the local dust. Special red-colored soil turns into very lightweight dust due to frequent droughts. A strong wind lifts it to the sky and carries it for hundreds or even thousands of kilometers away. When faced with a rain cloud, this dust gets mixed with the cooled vapor, which the next minute, becomes rainfall. Red and sinister. You see, it's quite simple.

Black rain and white rain are of similar nature. In the first case, it's about volcanic ash, and in the second one, it's chalk powder. As a result, precipitation gets very fascinating! Milk rain is not something you would see every day, you know.

As for the green and yellow rains, they have a bit different origin, and it has nothing to do with the dust. Although, it's associated with a thing known as pollen. Hazel, fir, and alder trees, as well as various cereal plants, have yellow pollen. It's so light that the wind can easily carry it for hundreds and thousands of kilometers away. The next steps are very similar to the described above: rain gets mixed with pollen and falls onto the ground, terrifying the locals.

The green color of the rain comes from the pollen of mango, birch, and other trees. Such precipitation was seen by locals of Calcutta in 2002 and in Moscow on April 26, 2012.

Oranges Falling from the Sky

Speaking about strange rains, we cannot fail to mention the so-called "plant" ones. History knows many cases when rye and oats, leaves and flowers fell from the sky.

For example, in 1869, it rained oak leaves in France when the sky was absolutely clear! The explanation is simple: a strong hurricane hit this place a few days earlier and took leaves high in the air. Next few days, apparently, the weather was windless. And six days later, the leaves finally slowly landed on the ground.

But in 1833, the citizens of Naples had better luck. They saw a real rain of oranges there! The reason was again the same, but the result was way more delicious.

Fish Rain for Hondurans

In some countries, it rains fish, frogs, or shrimp once in centuries. But the residents of Yoro, a province in Honduras, were more fortunate. This kind of rain falls there like clockwork—once or even twice every year! Interestingly, it always takes place at certain times of the year—from May to July— and has been repeating for a hundred years so far.

So it's not surprising that the locals even gave this phenomenon a name—“aguacero de pescado”. It rains there according to the scenario: firstly, a black cloud appears in the sky; next is the time for the wind, lightning, and thunder; and finally a powerful downpour comes down and keeps falling for about 2–3 hours without a break. When the rain ends, and people go outside, they see hundreds of live fish scattered on the ground. Locals are not very educated but practical, though. Instead of atoning for sins or trying to make sense of the rain, they use their time to pick up as many gifts of the ocean as possible and treat the family to a hearty dinner.

Many people seriously believe that this rain is a godsend and attribute this miracle to the Catholic priest Jose José Manuel de Jesús Subirana, who used to work in Honduras from 1855 to 1864. The legend has it so: once he saw the poverty of the locals, he got to pray for three days and three nights, and soon God sent a fish rain to help the poor feed their families. The red rain has long been a local landmark, and it has even gotten a dedicated festival held in Yoro since 1998.

References: Links and sources

Add comment
  1. AstrodevDec 13, 2022 18:51
    I have seen many times how massive debris falls after a hurricane, but it is hard to believe in falling fish. How strange
  2. GizmmyDec 2, 2022 07:08
    We need a tornado over a bank vault so that then the most beautiful rain of money will happen.
  3. KerlyNov 30, 2022 08:35
    Even I have seen colored rain several times in my life. It's because of the sand. But it’s hard to believe in fish rain until I see it with my own eyes.