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A Selection of Anomalous Rains

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posted on Oct, 2 2017 @ 11:28 PM
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After reading last week about a number of small fish falling along with the rain in a coastal Mexican town, I was inspired to do a bit of reading about other odd things that have reportedly rained down from the heavens.

At this point, I've got maybe 50. I was tempted to hold off and post them as a giant, comprehensive list but that's going to take some time to compile into thread and I figured with all that's going on, folks might appreciate some distraction today. So I've selected a few of the more interesting accounts.

A Shower of Candy


SHOWER OF CANDY — A very uncommon and curious phenomenon is recorded as having occurred in some sections of Lake County on the nights of September 2d and 11, 1857. It is said that on both of these nights there fell a shower of candy or sugar. The crystals were from one-eighth to one-fourth of an inch in length, and the size of a goose quill. Syrup was made of it by some of the lady residents of the section. If this is a canard, it is surely a sweet one.


Lyman L Palmer (1881) History of Napa and Lake Counties, California p.71 (link)

This is the only account I've encountered of something sweet reportedly falling from the sky. Anyone who has ever made rock candy knows that sugar crystals form readily enough. A couple of possible natural sources for crystals of the size that are described might be honey or maple sap but it's hard to imagine a natural mechanism by which sugar crystals would be formed in significant quantities and in a way that they would be susceptible to being lifted aloft and deposited elsewhere.

A Snow of Insects


Boston Transcript, March 21, 1922 — clipping sent to me by Mr. J. David Stern, Editor and Publisher of the Camden (N.J.) Daily Courier —

"Geneva, March 21 — During a heavy snow-storm in the Alps recently thousands of exotic insects resembling spiders, caterpillars and huge ants fell on the slopes and quickly died. Local naturalists are unable to explain the phenomenon, but one theory is [246/247] that the insects were blown in on the wind from a warmer climate."(18)

The fall of unknown insects in a snow storm is not the circumstance that I call most attention to. It is worth noting that I have records of half a dozen similar occurrences in the Alps, usually about the last of January, but the striking circumstance is that insects of different species and of different specific gravities fell together. The conventional explanation is that a wind, far away, raised a great variety of small objects, and segregated them according to specific gravity, so that twigs and grasses fell in one place, dust some other place, pebbles somewhere else, and insects farther along somewhere. This would be very fine segregation. There was no very fine segregation in this occurrence. Something of a seasonal, or migratory, nature, from some other world, localized in the sky, relatively to the Alps, is suggested.


Charles Fort (1925) New Lands (link)

Something about Fort's description of the segregation reminds me of a Dyson commercial for some reason. What's interesting to me about this is it's reported in late January, with snow fall — so presumably these insects would have traveled some distance — and as Fort notes, there were allegedly multiple species of insects. Insect falls are not unheard of and it's easy to imagine a swarm of some insect or another getting caught swept up, incapacitated/killed and finally falling miles and miles away. In fact, in a summer month, billions of insects are likely flying far overhead. Interesting sidebar:

NPR - Look Up! The Billion-Bug Highway You Can't See


Writing in American Entomologist recently (Spring 2010 "Frequent Flyer Miles"), May Berenbaum says pilots have long known insects can fly very high.

"Beginning in 1926, Tanglefoot-coated slides were affixed to airplanes to collect insects, with famed aviator Charles Lindbergh contributing to the data-collection effort by carrying sticky glass slides on his 1933 flight crossing the Atlantic at 2,460 to 5,410 feet and over Greenland at 7,870 to 12,135 feet."

Now 12,000 feet is pretty high, but the all-time champ is, of all things, a termite!

In Berenbaum's article, she mentions a 1961 study by J.L. Gressit in which an insect trap was placed on a Super-Constellation airplane. That plane flew 116,684 miles sampling the air, catching whatever was up there, and, Berenbaum says, "the trap managed to capture a single termite at 19,000 feet." That's the record.

You wonder how a little critter can survive the wind, the cold, the absence of company. "Wind dispersal at great heights can be rough on insects," Berenbaum writes. And yet they are very tough. Of 1,610 insects captured by another team of scientists led by L.R. Taylor in 1960, 97 percent were alive and undamaged, 2 percent were alive and damaged, and 1 percent were dead. The flying corpse was, it turns out, a rarity.


I tracked down a copy of the original article, which appears to have probably been an AP news story, in an Indiana newspaper because who doesn't like pictures?




(27 May 1922) Greencastle Herald, Greencastle, Putnam County p.2 (link)

Rain of Fire




Shower of Sulphur. — The inhabitants of the village of Thames Ditton, Surrey, were, on Friday night, October 18th, 1867, a good deal startled at witnessing a very strange phenomenon, which had the appearance of a shower of fire. The shower lasted about ten minutes, and during the continuance afforded a brilliant light. Next morning it was found that the waterbutts and puddles in the upper part of the village were thickly covered with a deposit of sulphur. Some of the water has been preserved in bottles.


(1867) Symons's Monthly Meteorological Magazine. Volume 2 p.130 (link)

As a neat bonus, the passage following the one transcribed above is an 1867 UFO account. Sulfur falling from the sky isn't exactly super rare. In fact there is a phenomenon called "sulfur rain" in which rain drops fall through a cloud containing sulfur and fall to to Earth having a yellowish color. Elemental sulfur can be blasted into the sky from volcanic eruptions, falling back in ash and debris or in so-called "black rains" which contain sometimes large chunks of pumice.

Sulfur of course burns, emitting a blue flame and melting into a red liquid. Sulfur fumes are also flammable. In either case, burning sulfur produces a noxious gas, sulfur dioxide. (Fun fact, 90% of the atmosphere of Jupiter's moon, Io, is composed of sulfur dioxide.)



Here's a cool video of a burning "lake of sulfur" (actually it's a mound of sulfur) at a Wyoming recycling plant, taken a few months ago:



But how plausible is a literal OT-style rain of fire and brimstone (sulfur)? Or in this case, a brief not-particularly cataclysmic shower of fire and brimstone not associated with a volcanic eruption?
edit on 2017-10-2 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 2 2017 @ 11:28 PM
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Blood Rain

There are many stories of "blood rain" going back into antiquity and even verified showers of red-colored rain from this century but this one stands out for the peculiar properties attributed to the rain and the events that took place after it purportedly took place.

I've been unable to track do a copy of the original source but here's an account of it from the website Aquiziam:


A dark red cloud appeared over the village of Buliavino on the line from Moscow to St. Petersburg and towards the evening a rain, red in colour, fell in torrential amounts. Those villagers that caught the rain in pots and pans were in no doubt that the liquid was blood. Towards midnight the rain became normal in appearances and continued in varying intensity for two further days. While livestock seemed unaffected by the incident, all the fields of the village turned first a bright orange and then blackened as if covered by soot. With the loss of their spring grass the villagers were set to abandon their homes when they noticed a new growth of vegetation. The new grass seemed to grow at twice the speed and produced a crop of a quality never before seen. Vegetables grew to enormous sizes and the people of the place experienced vibrant health and fitness for many years to come. Those that had saved the red fluid in jars or bottles sold it for a medicine that was said to restore vitality to those that drank it. A bottle of the fluid was allegedly dispatched to the court of Tsar Alexander the First but what he did with it is not known. (Source: Reported by a Cossack soldier on route to Novgorod 1827 /Essay: Cossack Tales and Folklore – 1866 Russian)


Transoceanic Bean Fall?


JOAO PESSOA, Brazil (AP) -- It rained beans the other day, Brazilian Rancher Salvador Targino insisted, as he showed newsmen and local officials the small vegetables that fell suddenly on his property. '"That's what happened, alright," said Delmiro Maia, a federal agriculture official assigned to Paraiba State. Maia speculated that a recent storn swooped up a pile — of beans from Western Africa — and dumped them over Northeastern Brazil Targino boiled some of th beans and said they were to touah to eat.


Beans! (17 June 1971) Delaware County Daily Times from Chester, Pennsylvania. p. 10 (link)

No. Just no. If beans fall from the sky, the appropriate response is not to cook them to see if they taste good. You plant them to see if a giant beanstalk grows, clearly. I'm going to conclude this post with two quickies about critters falling from the sky that are neither fish, frogs or birds (or snakes or spiders — my weather is never this scary)

Dead Monkey Drop


Colma, Oct. 27. -- The civil aeronautics authority and the Broadmoor district police are today investigating the case of the monkey which fell out of the sky. The animal landed on Mrs. Faye Swanson's clothesline and did severe damage, mostly to itself.

Mrs. Swanson, who lives at 723 Stonyford drive in Broadmoor Village subdivision, said she walked into her backyard yesterday at 8:05 a.m. and found a dead monkey on the ground. Her clothesline was almost bent to the ground and pieces of monkey still clung to the plastic covered cable line stretched between a pair of four by four wooden posts. The posts were cracked at each end. "Who's going to pay for having my clothesline fixed?" Mrs. Swanson asked.


San Mateo Times on October 27, 1956 via Phantoms and Monsters (Lon Strickler's blog, super cool guy)

I have to include this next part because it's darkly comic:


The five-pound body of the monkey was taken to the SPCA headquarters at Coyote Point for an "autopsy" into the cause of death. Everyone agreed he had "fallen from a great height." Chief Savage declared preliminary indications are that the monkey died of heart failure during his drop. But the big question remains--was it dropped from an aircraft, or are monkeys dropping from the sky because of the H-bomb tests in the South Pacific?

A check with Pan American World Airways, which specializes in carrying animals aboard its Pacific clippers, quickly denied any responsibility for this particular arrival. Other airlines also failed to yield information concerning the deceased monkey's origination. Maybe he was just an airline hitchhiker, someone suggested, and lost his grip.


Wow. I'm going to have to question whether or not the "big question" was ever really whether or not dead monkeys were dropping from the skies in California because of hydrogen bomb tests thousands of miles away. Sounds a bit like cartoon physics. Of course, I have no better explanation so what the hell, let's go with that.

Shooting Starfish


On 24 April 1985, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that starfish — another rarity in the annals of falling creatures — had fallen on parts of St. Cloud, Minnesota three days earlier. It was supposed that students from the nearby State University had thrown then off a high building, a mile away, into the wind, but they turned out to be a type found only hundreds of miles to the south, off Florida.


John Michell, Bob Rickard, Robert J. M. Rickard (2000) Unexplained Phenomena: A Rough Guide Special. pg. 36 (link)

Is that a thing? College kids throwing starfish into the wind off of tall buildings? Is it a competitive sport? A forerunner to frisbee golf perhaps? I wonder if the starfish died of heart attacks during the fall as well?

I hope you've enjoyed my picks. Keep an eye out for another installment — I've got somewhere around a dozen accounts of meat falling from the sky (no bacon though). And while you're at it, probably a good idea to occasionally glance upwards because you never really know what might come falling out of the sky.



posted on Oct, 2 2017 @ 11:59 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

That's a cool topic, when I was in college I took Meteorology and for my first paper I dug up some of these unsolved mystery rain cases and proposed various theories. I even discussed virus and fungi spores in rain.

The professor brought it up in class and liked my paper, it was really cool to get the honorable mention that day. Meteorology class is no joke guys, it's an incredibly difficult and technical course.

I always liked bringing up X-files in classes while maintaining healthy skepticism yet giving the whole "somehow this is verified, so what's going on?" approach.

Thanks for the nostalgia antediluvian!

Oh, and finding the termite up so high isn't that weird, they have huge wings to body size/weight ratios comparatively speaking. The blood rain story is really weird and interesting too, hadn't heard about that one.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 12:00 AM
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I took a meteor shower once.



(no, I'm lying)
edit on 10/3/2017 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 12:04 AM
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a reply to: Phage

Sounds like you're trying to snow us with your wild tales.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 12:05 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Just trying to precipitate in your thread.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 12:11 AM
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a reply to: Phage

I'm out of precipitation puns already, you win. All hail Phage.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 12:15 AM
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I'm no fan of you posts usually. But this is good old ATS stuff!! Great content and well written. A start and flag for you! Thank you and please give us more, we at ATS need it!!

Go TRUMP!! Sorry just being a dick!!



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 12:33 AM
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a reply to: muzzleflash

I'm sure I have a few more that you haven't heard of. Most people have heard of fish and frogs falling but there's stories of snakes, rats, lemmings, an alligator from the modern era, a shark from fairly recently, golf balls. Also, mussels, massive amounts of seeds, hay, wheat, paper money, coins, documents, a sex doll, a couple of dead folks, lots of meat, bee poop, worms, squids, rocks, nuts/berries, various unidentified fibers and more.

I really wish ATS had a forum for general Forteana. I even came up with an image for it:



I'd be good for at least 3 posts a week in it.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 12:34 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian
I'm glad elephants don't fly.

I really got into those sort of stories in 7th grade. Then I learned about verification and stuff.


edit on 10/3/2017 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 01:28 AM
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originally posted by: theantediluvian
a reply to: muzzleflash

I'm sure I have a few more that you haven't heard of. Most people have heard of fish and frogs falling but there's stories of snakes, rats, lemmings, an alligator from the modern era, a shark from fairly recently, golf balls. Also, mussels, massive amounts of seeds, hay, wheat, paper money, coins, documents, a sex doll, a couple of dead folks, lots of meat, bee poop, worms, squids, rocks, nuts/berries, various unidentified fibers and more.

I really wish ATS had a forum for general Forteana. I even came up with an image for it:



I'd be good for at least 3 posts a week in it.



Wow that's a ton of weird stuff to fall from the sky, lol.
Bee poop, lol.

Have they still never identified those weird fibers? Hmmm.

A Forteana forum is actually a great idea! Awesome graphic of Charles Fort btw.

Now I gotta say this:
My forte is the Fortean. I got into it when I was fourteen.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 01:41 AM
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a reply to: Phage

What really got me into all things weird and the general X-files were books at my elementary library and tv shows that my granddad would watch.

Although there were a few outlying books not in the set, the Time Life 'Mysteries of the Unknown' 33 volume set was my favorite and I went through all of them multiple times. I think my first taste was when I was like 5 or 6. I also had a few editions of Ripley's Believe It or Not! and my granddad even took me to a few of the museums when we traveled.

On TV I'd watch stuff like Unsolved Mysteries or Twilight Zone, and as I got older I got into Sightings, Histories Mysteries, all that stuff. Most TV fiction touches upon mind-bending concepts, from Star Trek to Quantum Leap or whatever.

All of this media really blends in together nicely and having access to so much information as a kid created a rich education.

I guess I was fortunate to have dabbled in the Fortean so young... not sure where to put the words fortitude or fortress, but they should go somewhere in there too.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 01:42 AM
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originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: theantediluvian
I'm glad elephants don't fly.

I really got into those sort of stories in 7th grade. Then I learned about verification and stuff.



Killjoy. Every once in a while, some strange phenomenon is proven to exist. Take sprites for example. If memory serves me, they were observed as early as the first half the 18th century and weren't photographed for the first time until the late 80's/early 90's. And speaking of lightning, ball lightning wasn't generally recognized by science until the 60's.

Consider an event like The Great Thunderstorm of Widecombe-in-the-Moor. Sure, it wasn't the Devil but despite resisting explanation for centuries, as it turns out, it seems probable that they were describing an actual event caused by an actual phenomenon — ball lightning.

And what about fish falling from the sky?

I look at it this way: The fringe is fun. The fringe is interesting. It's got the underdog thing going for it. Sure, most of the time it's bogus, it's riddled with ignorance, wishful thinking, hoaxes and woo — but every once in a while something remarkable, something wondrous, fantastic and amazing turns out to be real — it could be a legendary lost city al a Troy or La Ciudad Blanca or ball lighting, fish falling from the sky or Yeti-is-really-a-tree-climbing-Asian-black-bear (okay, that's probably less wondrous, fantastic and amazing than it could have been)
edit on 2017-10-3 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 01:43 AM
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a reply to: WUNK22

You just couldn't resist could you!



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 01:45 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

It hailed (regular hail) at my house about 5 years ago. It's the first time I've seen it hail here (and I was raised here).
It was pretty cool, until I started to think about what it might be doing to my roof.

My point; I dig being amazed.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 01:59 AM
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a reply to: muzzleflash

I was fortunate to have a really interesting autodidact grandmother with an impressive library. When I was a kid (like 8-9), she made me a book of sorts, a collection of interesting tidbits she'd come across and copy for me. Like a sort of scrapbook of Forteana from things like rains of fish and various cryptids to the Oak Island money pit.

As for bee poop:

In late 1971, a rain of yellow globules was reported in the Sydney suburbs of Chifley, Matraville and Malabar. Samples of the fallout from what was referred to as "golden rain" were examined by the government. The Minister of Health, a Mr. Jago, responded to concerned citizens, informing them that upon analysis of the samples, it was concluded that the "golden rain" was in fact...bee poop.


examination of recent fallout of yellow-coloured globules over three Sydney suburbs showed they were the excreta of bees.


(learn more than you wanted about bee poop)

The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, Friday, December 3, 1971 link



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 02:06 AM
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a reply to: Phage

I grew up in Georgia, down a long rural road, on 20+ acres of mostly wooded land with a nice kite flying pasture. I thought I was pretty familiar with the fauna.

A few years back I flew home and my younger brother picked me up at the airport. As we were getting close to my parent's house, I caught a glimpse of something bizarre, lying dead on the side of the road. We turned around and drove by it slowly.

Upon further inspection, it was clearly an armadillo and we were both floored.

We rush to the house, hop on Google and discover that lo and behold, armadillos are native to Georgia. Had absolutely no idea. That story is probably a bit more anticlimactic than I'd hoped.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 02:10 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Better than my hail story.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 02:16 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Now how the heck did all that bee excreta get together like that, and why doesn't it happen more often? That's so weird lol.

Thanks for the link to your thread on "The Great Thunderstorm of Widecombe-in-the-Moor", that was an interesting read too.

I admit I'm still skeptical of ball lightning but with a story like that it does cause me to pause and go 'hmmmmm'.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 02:19 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

I'm from West Texas and I'm used to seeing armadillos, but here in Nashville I certainly didn't expect to see any.
But lo and behold, a few months ago a friend freaked out and was like "omg what's that?" and it was an armadillo walking across the road right here in the heart of the city, lol.

I didn't know they were all over the place either, I just sorta figured it was native to the desert climes.



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