I was watching a TV show the other day and there was a scene where a whole bunch of fish fell from the sky, the show never explained why so I decided to look it up and see if there was any cultural significance. I figured there was no way this actually ever happened so I was looking for some sort of mythology associated with fish falling from the sky.
To my surprise there are a bunch of recorded occurrences around the world and throughout history of fish falling from the sky. There are also recorded occurrences of other animals such as birds, bats, jellyfish and frogs.
Birds and Bats
This is an easy one. Most scientists agree this happens during storms or other meteorological events which freeze, daze or stun the flying creatures, and they fall from the sky. The most recent recorded occurrence of this happening in the US was in Bebe, Arkansas in 2010, but scientists believe this happens more often and is not usually recorded
All things aquatic
This includes primarily fish, but also frogs, and jellyfish. The first recorded occurrences of this event goes all the way back to records from Pliney The Elder in first century Rome. Apparently it still happens from time to time. In the last 200 years there have been 9 reported occurrences of fish falling from the sky not including the annual Lluvia de Peces in Yoro, Honduras. Lluvia de Peces translated ‘Rain of fish’ is an annual event started in 1998 taking place in may or June where reportedly ocean fish fall from the sky in Yoro, Honduras which is 140 miles from the nearest ocean. There was also two recorded occurrences of frogs or toads falling from the sky. One in Japan in 2009, and one in Hungary in 2010. There was one recorded occurrence of Jellyfish falling from the sky in Bath, England in 1894.
The crazy thing is, there is no universally agreed upon scientific explanation. There are a number of un-tested theories, but the truth is no one has ever been able to prove how aquatic animals are getting picked up, moved tens of miles and deposited on land.
One theory is that some of these occurrences did not happen as recorded. For instance it is possible that the Lluvia de Peces in Honduras is actually a process where heavy rains flood the area moving ocean fish inland, then the water dries out stranding them on dry land. Even if this explains some of the occurrences, what could possibly explain the well documented occurrences where it is generally agreed upon that animals were falling from the sky. Most theories involve some kind of crazy weather patterns like tornadoes over water, sometimes called waterspouts. The problem is waterspouts have never been known to lift anything up in the air and suspend it there for any length of time. Waterspouts and tornadoes have only been known to lift up objects and throw them at some trajectory. Even if this theory does explain some of the occurrences, it can’t explain them all. There have been some recorded occurrences of aquatic animals falling from the sky on days with fair weather and no expected tornadoes. There are currently no good theories to explain these phenomena.
I’m sure there is a perfectly logical explanation for all this. We just haven’t found it yet. The most likely explanation for these occurrences is probably something similar to the waterspout theory, but no one has ever seen it happen. So until then we are left to wonder why fish fall from the sky.