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Can it rain frogs and fish?

We've seen rain, snow, sleet and hail recently fall from the sky but can anything other than precipitation fall from the clouds? Meteorologist Josh Fitzpatrick has the surprising answer.

We've seen rain, snow, sleet and hail recently fall from the sky but can anything other than precipitation fall from the clouds?

This answer is kind of yes... 

Here's what I mean:  Many scientists believe waterspouts may be responsible for frog and fish "rainfalls".  A waterspout is a tornado that forms over land and travels over the water or a tornado that forms directly over water.

Think of a tornado as a giant vacuum cleaner.  When a waterspout moves over a lake, pond, river or ocean, it not only suckes up water but also sometimes fish and frogs.  What goes up, must come down and there's been reports through history of this happening through out the world. 

What is unusual in reports of animal rainfalls is the uniformity of the deposition.   When it rains frogs or fishes, witnesses repor only fish or only frogs falling. According to William Hayden Smith of Washington University, this makes sense since objects of similar size and weight would naturally be deposited together. As winds lose their energy, the heavier objects fall first and smaller objects drop later.

Despite the numerous reports of raining animals, scientists still approach the area with skepticism. Many historical reports are provided by second or third-hand accounts, making their reliability questionable. Also, because of the popularity and mystery surrounding stories about raining animals, some people falsely report an animal rainfall after seeing large numbers of worms, frogs, or birds on the ground after a storm. However, these animals did not fall from the sky. Instead, storms fill in worm burrows, knock birds from trees and roofs, wash fish onto the shores of rivers and ponds, and drive frogs and other small animals from their habitats. People who live in suburban or urban environments tend to underestimate the number of organisms living around their homes. Therefore, they may suspect that animals came from the sky rather than their natural habitat.

Despite the cautious skepticism of the scientific community, a number of eyewitness reports strongly suggest rainfalls of frogs, fish, and other materials on occasion.

For instance here's what I found researching this:

On October 23, 1947, A.D. Bajkov, a biologist with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife, was eating breakfast at a restaurant in Marksville, Louisiana when the waitress told him and his wife that fish were falling from the sky. “There were spots on Main Street, in the vicinity of the bank (a half block from the restaurant) averaging one fish per square yard. Automobiles and trucks were running over them. Fish also fell on the roofs of houses…I personally collected from Main Street and several yards on Monroe Street, a large jar of perfect specimens and preserved them in Formalin, in order to distribute them among various museums.”

On June 7, 2005, thousands of frogs rained on Odzaci, a small town in northwestern Serbia. Climatologist Slavisa Ignjatovic described the phenomenon as “not very unusual” because the strong winds that accompanied the storm could have easily picked up the frogs.

At the end of February, 2010, residents of Lajamanu, a small Australian town, saw hundreds of spangled perch fall from the sky. Christine Balmer was walking home when the rain/fish started to fall. “These fish fell in their hundreds and hundreds all over the place. The locals were running around everywhere to pick them up,” she reported.

If a tornado moves over a very dusty field, it can rain muddy water.

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