Reports of raining fish have come from Telangana, India, as the Meteorological Department got more than they bargained for when they forecast heavy rains. According to reports from ABP, residents from the town of Jagtial in Telangana experienced the very rare “animal rain phenomenon” as fish fell from the sky.
A video shared to Twitter allegedly shows some of the fish that rained down on the town, one of which is still moving. The region has been experiencing severe weather including floods and heavy rains.
While animals raining from the sky is the thing of idioms (raining cats and dogs, anyone?) animal rain, while an extremely rare phenomenon, can happen under the right conditions.
“It’s a very rare phenomenon, but you can very occasionally get showers of rain that carry with them small fish or frogs,” said a spokesperson from the Met Office UK weather service to IFLScience.
How exactly does animal rain happen? Well, for the unlucky few that take to the skies, it’s all about being in the wrong place at the right time.
“In short, debris, or in this case small fish or frogs, can be captured as part of an updraft during the formation of thunderstorms. It would have to be a particularly strong updraft, while developing over a river or near the sea, for any small fish or frogs to be transported with it, but it has been known to happen.”
Texas reportedly experienced its own animal rain at the end of 2021 as the city of Texarkana also found themselves battling brollies against piscine showers. Sharing their experiences on Facebook, the official City of Texarkana account wrote: “2021 is pulling out all the tricks… including raining fish in Texarkana today… While it’s uncommon, it happens…”
The animal rain phenomenon isn’t exclusive to fish, however, as the Library of Congress (LOC) says that similar reports of animals raining from the sky have been made about frogs. Being similarly small in size, the water-loving amphibians are also capable of being swept into the air in strong gusts and joining waterspouts.
Frog fall reportedly isn’t isolated to rain, either, as they report that the anurans have fallen in a more frozen form.
“When it hailed frogs in Dubuque, Iowa on June 16, 1882, scientists speculated that small frogs were picked up by a powerful updraft and frozen into hail in the cold air above earth’s surface,” said LOC.
“Although no one has actually witnessed an updraft lifting frogs off the ground, the theory is scientifically plausible since updrafts regularly pick up lightweight debris and carry it considerable distances.”
We guess it’s really not that easy, being green.