Animal Rain: When Fish and Frogs Fall from the Sky

There is such a scene in the movie “A Good Show”: After a heavy rain, the roof and the road are covered with lively fish. In fact, this kind of scene not only appeared in movies, but also appeared in real life, and there are relevant records.

This situation of “animals falling from the sky” is called “animal rain”, which refers to the rare natural phenomenon that animals that cannot fly, such as fish and frogs, fall from the sky together with the rain.

In 1794, animal rain appeared in France. At that time, in the afternoon, there was a heavy rainstorm in the village of Laland in France. More than 100 local soldiers were forced to withdraw from a large depression where they were hiding in order not to be submerged in the water. The withdrawn guards saw an astonishing scene: Some stick-thin toads mixed with rainwater fell from the air to the ground, jumping around. A soldier named Gayette didn’t believe that the toads fell from the sky, so he opened his handkerchief and raised it over his head. As a result, he did receive many small toads, some with small tails, shaped like tadpoles.

In 1817, a group of children picked up some fresh fish on the mossy ground after a storm near the Sien Ferry on the River Akishigi in Scotland, England. The fish cover the ground, and they come down with the storm. In addition, according to records, there was a rain of frogs in Lyon, France in September 1830, and there was also a rain of frogs in Britain in July 1841.

If it is said that the above-mentioned records about the animal rain are too old to be verified, then the animal rain in Great Yarmouth, England in 2002 is easier to verify. In this downpour, in addition to the raindrops, there were also a large number of small whitebait that landed on the ground.

It can be seen that although the phenomenon of animal rain is strange and rare, it does exist. How did it form? This stems from a weather phenomenon – a waterspout. A waterspout, also known as a dragon sucking water, is a tornado that occasionally appears over warm water. It is precisely because of this strong wind that the fish and shrimp in the water are brought into the nimbostratus, and then the fish and shrimp fall from high altitude with the rain, forming animal rain.

Many people can’t help but have doubts. China often reports that there are tornadoes in a certain place, but few people have seen animal rain. What is the reason? It needs to be clear that the formation of animal rain requires the rare weather phenomenon of waterspouts, and the formation of waterspouts requires certain conditions: suitable water and tornadoes. Tornadoes in my country mainly occur in the eastern plains, especially in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Jiangsu, Guangdong, Hubei, Anhui and other provinces have more tornadoes, among which Jiangsu and Guangdong have the most, with an annual average of 4.8 and 4.3 tornadoes respectively. If the condition of warm waters is used to filter, the probability of seeing animal rain in China is greatly reduced.

In nature, there is another kind of rain that is very similar to animal rain-blood rain. Blood rain is also called red rain. When it rains, the blood-like maroon rain falls from the sky, which is strange and tinged with terror. Regarding the cause of blood rain, the mainstream explanation in the academic circle is that red dust is mixed in the storm airflow, or birds and other animals are involved in the storm and are injured and bleed, thus dyeing the rain red.

In addition to animal rain and blood rain, there are also magical phenomena such as orange snow and watermelon snow in nature.

In recent years, there have been frequent reports of orange snow in many European countries. According to the interpretation of meteorological experts, the appearance of orange snow is inseparable from the wind: a large number of dust particles from the Sahara Desert in Africa flew across the Mediterranean Sea with the wind and moved to eastern Europe. These dust particles met the cold air system that was forming snowfall, and finally The white snow that fell from the sky turned into orange snow.

Watermelon snow appeared near the Ukrainian scientific research station in Antarctica in 2020. Watermelon snow, also known as snow algae, is a kind of snow with a reddish or pink color and the smell of fresh watermelon. This snow has a darker color after melting, like the color of wine. It is conceivable that in the distant Antarctic, well-equipped scientific expedition members observe the pink watermelon snow, and everything looks more mysterious and unique under the sunshine.

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