More than 100 pounds of fish recently rained upon a village in western Sri Lanka, reported the BBC. The fish probably came from a nearby river after being scooped up by a storm. Locals collected the fish, many of which still were living and flopping around.
Although it sounds like a Biblical curse, “fish rains” have occurred many times around the globe and have a natural explanation.
Meteorologists believe strong updrafts in storms pull water from rivers, lakes and oceans. Fish, frogs and other animals come with the water, then fall along with the rain. Sometimes the animals survive the journey, other times they are shredded or encased in ice.
Yoro, Honduras, celebrates an annual festival to commemorate the frequent fish rains in that town, reported Hablemos, an El Savadoreño magazine. The fish are native to the nearby Aguán River. Yoreños collect the fish, eat some in soups or roasted in cork husks and preserve others in jars. In 2003, fish fell in Talanga, another Honduran town, reported El Universo.
The first fish rain in Yoro occurred in the 19th century after Fr. Manuel de Jesús Subirana prayed for a miracle to end the starvation of Yoro’s citizens, according to local legend. After three days of prayer, the holy mackerel fell from the sky.
In 2010, hundreds of spangled perch fell on Lajamanu, a small town on the edge of Australia’s Tanami Desert, reported the Daily Mail. Japan experienced a rain of fish and tadpoles in 2009, reported the Guardian. The BBC reported that numerous two-inch-long fish fell on Norfolk, England in 2000.