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Modern Mysteries

Why do frogs sometimes rain from the sky ?

September 10, 2015 | Comment icon 22 comments



Frogs have been known to cascade from the heavens. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Richard Bartz
Peculiar showers of frogs, fish and other strange things have been reported for thousands of years.
One of the most recent such downpours occurred earlier this year across parts of Washington, Oregon and Idaho where residents reported rain drops that were milky white in color.

Climate scientists weren't able to conclusively source where the rain had originated however it was believed to have received its white color from ash picked up from wildfire burn scars in the region.

Rainfall like this would seem to be a freak occurrence - something that happens only once in a blue moon, yet throughout history there have been numerous accounts of strange downpours, many of which being a lot more peculiar than rain that is simply a different color.

Perhaps the most unusual of all are reports of frogs, fish or insects dropping from the sky in large quantities - a phenomenon that in ancient times was often attributed to divine intervention.

"In Paeonia and Dardania, it has, they say, before now rained frogs; and so great has been the number of these frogs that the houses and the roads have been full of them," the Greek philsopher Heraclides Lembus wrote of such an incident back in the second century BC.
Similar events have also occurred recently such as in 2005 when a downpour of small frogs was reported in a small town in northernwestern Siberia. So what exactly is going on to cause this ?

The answer, most scientists agree, is that these animals are being sucked up in to the sky by a tornado, carried over large distances and then dropped again several miles away.

Raindrops with unusual colors can also usually be explained by anomalous substances being drawn up in to the sky. Red and yellow rain tends to be caused by dust and sand from a desert while black rain has been attributed to volcanic activity or pollution.

Charles Fort, a prominent researcher of all things unexplained, managed to gather more than 60,000 newspaper articles pertaining to peculiar downpours occurring in countries all over the world.

Oddly enough these intriguing phenomena are a lot more common than most people realize.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine | Comments (22)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #13 Posted by Rlyeh 7 years ago
Maybe the ancients were right and it is divine intervention. How else could frogs raining from the sky be explained? Swamp gas? Extra-terrestrials? Even if I DID believe that 'aliens' came from another planet I'm pretty sure they would have better things to do than dump a bunch of frogs, fish or insects upon the land for creating the grand effect of- becoming the headliner in a local newspaper. But God has nothing better to do than to dump frogs from the sky?
Comment icon #14 Posted by Aquarius Chik 7 years ago
But God has nothing better to do than to dump frogs from the sky? Some kind of warning or meaning from God makes more sense to me than swamp gas or aliens pulling pranks.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Rlyeh 7 years ago
Some kind of warning or meaning from God makes more sense to me than swamp gas or aliens pulling pranks. They both sound childish.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Aquarius Chik 7 years ago
They both sound childish. Do they? Well then, do YOU have a better explination? One that actually makes sense would be much appreciated.....
Comment icon #17 Posted by Rlyeh 7 years ago
Do they? Well then, do YOU have a better explination? One that actually makes sense would be much appreciated..... Natural phenomena. No need for gods or aliens playing pranks.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 7 years ago
Never saw such a rain storm but I would love to see them get DNA from the critters and find the root location of those frogs/fish, just for ha-ha's
Comment icon #19 Posted by theotherguy 7 years ago
Natural phenomena. No need for gods or aliens playing pranks. Not disagreeing with you, but what sort of natural phenomena separates airborne animals not known for going airborne by age and species?
Comment icon #20 Posted by zeek wulfe 7 years ago
A tornado or super wind eddy is no doubt the causitve factor in frog or fish "rain." In almost all cases only one species is transported and dumped. One would think that a tornado would pick up, let's say, several thousand perch and a few other species together with frogs or even crayfish. That never happens. Always one species...I wonder why that is?
Comment icon #21 Posted by Frank Merton 7 years ago
Maybe the ancients were right and it is divine intervention. How else could frogs raining from the sky be explained? Swamp gas? Extra-terrestrials? Even if I DID believe that 'aliens' came from another planet I'm pretty sure they would have better things to do than dump a bunch of frogs, fish or insects upon the land for creating the grand effect of- becoming the headliner in a local newspaper. A little research on the topic is recommended before you jump to "maybe" conclusions. A tornado or super wind eddy is no doubt the causitve factor in frog or fish "rain." In almost all cases only one sp... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by ShadowSot 7 years ago
I have to wonder how they would survive the fall, or for that matter not splatter.


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