Raining Animals

Raining animals is a rare meteorological phenomenon in which flightless animals "rain" from the sky. Such occurrences have been reported in many countries throughout history. One hypothesis offered to explain this phenomenon is that strong winds traveling over water sometimes pick up creatures such as fish or frogs, and carry them for up to several miles. However, this primary aspect of the phenomenon has never been witnessed or scientifically tested. Sometimes the animals survive the fall, suggesting the animals are dropped shortly after extraction. Several witnesses of raining frogs describe the animals as startled, though healthy, and exhibiting relatively normal behavior shortly after the event. In some incidents, however, the animals are frozen to death or even completely encased in ice. There are examples where the product of the rain is not intact animals, but shredded body parts. Some cases occur just after storms having strong winds, especially during tornadoes.

However, there have been many unconfirmed cases in which rainfalls of animals have occurred in fair weather and in the absence of strong winds or waterspouts.

The English language idiom "it is raining cats and dogs", referring to a heavy downpour, is of uncertain etymology, and there is no evidence that it has any connection to the "raining animals" phenomenon.

Note that this is a regular occurrence for birds, which can get killed in flight, or stunned, and then fall (unlike flightless creatures, which first have to be lifted into the air by an outside force). Sometimes this happens in large groups, for instance, the blackbirds falling from the sky in Beebe, Arkansas, United States on December 31, 2010. It is common for birds to become disoriented (for example, because of bad weather or fireworks) and collide with objects such as trees or buildings, killing them or stunning them into falling to death. The number of blackbirds killed in Beebe is not spectacular considering the size of their congregations, which can be in the millions. The event in Beebe, however, captured the imagination and led to more reports in the media of birds falling from the sky across the globe, such as in Sweden and Italy, though many scientists claim such mass deaths are common occurrences but usually go unnoticed.

Read more about Raining Animals:  Explanations, In Literature and Popular Culture, "Raining Cats and Dogs"

Other articles related to "raining animals, raining, animals":

Raining Animals - "Raining Cats and Dogs"
... The English idiom "it is raining cats and dogs", used to describe an especially heavy rain, is of unknown etymology, and is not necessarily related to the "raining animals" phenomenon ... in 16th-century Europe when peasant homes were commonly thatched, animals could crawl into the thatch and find shelter from the elements, and would fall out ... have disgorged their contents during heavy showers, including the corpses of any animals that had accumulated in them ...

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