By Rob and Sarah Leigh-Bramwell
So the big question on our lips this month is...can fish really rain down from the sky? Well the answer is yes! Although rare, there have been many sightings of fish falling from the skies in Australia, Sri Lanka, Alaska and beyond. Residents of Lajamanu, a small Australian town, were left speechless when hundreds of live spangled perch began raining down on them in 2010. The village of Yoro in Honduras also celebrates the annual Festival de la Lluvia de Peces, to commemorate the rain of small, silvery fish that allegedly happens at least once a year.
So what is the cause of this truly bizarre weather phenomena?
The most likely explanation is all down to the formation of tornadoes. Tornadoes tend to form in areas where there are large differences in humidity, temperature, wind speed and direction. The fish are sucked up the tornado's vortex and then blown around in the clouds until the windspeed decreases enough to let them fall back down to earth, miles away from where they started. According to Bill Evans' meteorology book titled It's Raining Fish and Spiders, creatures fall from the sky about forty times a year. A range of different creatures have been reported to fall from the sky, including worms, crabs and snakes, but fish and frogs are the most common.
The saying 'raining cats and dogs' will never have quite the same meaning again!