List of Strange Rains

Its incredible how many times people have reported strange objects that have literally just fallen from the sky. From raw meat to gold coins it seems that the heavens have an inexhaustible supply of skyfall oddities to cast down at us.

While some of these can be attributed to meteorites, debris from airplanes and even old satellites, some of the reports are far more bizarre. It seems that for thousands of years everything from Angel Hair to St. Bernard dogs have plummeted to Earth from who knows where! Here is a collection of some of the recorded events from the past till today:

The Greek Historian, Athenaeus, clearly records in his historical anthology, the Deipnosophistae (Banquet of the Sophists), a three day period during which it rained fish). A later reference possibly to the same event or a separate occurrence in Paeonia declares that small frogs and wheat fell in copious amounts. So great was the fall of frogs that when they died they poisoned the wells. (Heraclides Lembus 21st book of his History)

1578 – 1579 AD: RODENTS
In Bergen, Norway, the town experienced two bizarre episodes involving falling animal objects. In the first the sky chose to pelt the inhabitants with numerous large yellow mice and strangely, repeated the episode a year later but this time with lemmings. Since this time it has failed to happen again. (The Journal of Cycle Research 6:3) It is worth noting that for many years- and during this period it was common folklore that lemmings often fell out of the sky with thunderstorms. Also ... it is worth pointing out that many lemmings are naturally slightly yellow.

The village of Acle in Norfolk experienced a downpour of frogs in such quantities that apparently the people of the village were “sorely inconvenienced”. First the frogs were swept into piles and then carried in pails to a local field for burning. It was said that all were dead when found. (Source: Michell & Rickard: Phenomena) It is worth noting that by far the most common animal sky fall is the humble frog.

Thousands of flakes of a fibrous material that was pitch black in colour fell near the town of Klaipeda (Memel) on the east coast of the Baltic Sea in Lithuania. Some of the flakes were recorded to be as large as tabletops and were all damp. To start with the flakes emitted a sour rotting odour that disappeared as the material dried out after which it could be torn like paper. Some of flakes were kept as curiosities and 150 years later the material was examined by the Royal Irish academy 1839 who stated that it was largely (Conferva Crispata) which is a form of threadlike green algae. No explanation was provided as to how this material had become compressed into flakes.

A great quantity of “Star Butter” or less politely “Star Seed” fell across many areas of Southern Ireland during the winter and spring of 1696. The material was never formally identified and according to the Bishop of Cloyne, it exuded a mighty stench causing him to refer to it as “stinking dew”. He also stated that some of the common dark yellow globules were as large as the end of a person’s finger. He noted that cattle continued to feed on the affected fields and does not record whether they suffered any adverse side effects. Mr. Robert Vans of Kilkenny records that many people would collect the substance in all manner of containers including pots and pans as a widespread belief had sprung up that the “star butter” had powerful medicinal properties. (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London – May 1696)

During a late autumn afternoon in the Village of Drăgăneşti, Prahova (Romania) a great cluster of clouds appeared from the direction of the Carpathian Mountains. Within a short time the sky had become contorted and black as if a great snow was to fall. Instead, only a huge lump of ice half as tall as man fell into the paddock adjacent to the local tavern. It was clear that there was something embedded in the ice. The innkeeper fastened it to a sleigh and dragged it into the hostelry where it swiftly melted revealing a creature mottled blue in colour and naked of hair. All that saw it agreed that it looked like a hairless, long-faced, homunculus (monkey) with ragged wings and whip-like tail. The enterprising innkeeper had the creature skinned and mounted over the bar trestle. It appears to have been a successful draw for visitors from far and wide until three years later when it was seen by a travelling (Scythian) Monk who insisted that the remains of the creature should be burnt at once – and so it was. (Source: Egorov Raczaw: 1728 – Prahova Travel Journals)

Falling Frogs
Rodents / Lemmings

Sky Ice Demon

Gilbert White records that on 21 September 1741 he went to the nearby fields just before dawn to discover that they were covered with a strange cobweb-like substance. Prodding it with a stick he found it to be “as like cobweb but more slippery in nature and although sticking easily to the rod dissolved quickly into nothingness after it had been touched.” He further describes how his dogs became so covered with this material that they had to scrape it from their eyes with their paws. Later at about nine in the morning Gilbert records that the sky filled with clothes of the same material that was clearly heavier than the air and while he first believed them to be cobwebs soon realised that they were not strands but densely woven and five inches on a side and one to two inches on the other. This phenomenon continued for the better part of an hour and by Gilbert’s estimate covered an area of some 32 square miles and caused much comment. No spiders were found in the webs and no person complained of bites. Although Gilbert White doesn’t state exactly where he was at the time, the event took place in a triangle made up of the towns of Bradley, Selborne and Alresford, so clearly this event took place in Hampshire – England. The event is recorded in the 1829 book,”Popular Biology”, by Rev. W. Bingley. It is clear that the event was attributed to the Gossamer Spider but had never before been seen on this scale. The fact is that while the Gossamer spider can create a field of webs to have them fall in such numbers from the sky is a near impossibility.

Emile Coulon, a farmer living some six miles from the town of Lyon in France was sitting at the table in his kitchen when a rock broke through the thatch of the roof and impacted on the table in front of him which was of oak but still cracked. As he watched the rock split into two halves allowing him to see inside. He reached out and took the halves which were hollow and glowing with yellow crystals. Raising them to see more clearly he noticed that the rock (geode) was damp and smelt of rotten eggs. He appears to have passed out because he was found later by his wife lying on the floor. When he woke and studied the "phenomenon" again he noticed that the interior of the “Stone Egg” no longer glowed but was blackened as if by fire. The stone was sent to the Cathédrale St-Jean where it was identified as Devil’s Brimstone and kept for examination but nothing further was heard. (Submitted by Aquiziam reader; John H.)

On August 13 at the town of Amherst, Massachusetts a strange organic glowing object fell to the ground from the sky. It apparently landed in the garden of Erastus Dewey who did not locate it until the following morning. It was later examined by Professor Rufus Graves who noted that the skin of the object was a “cloth-like nap” which he removed to reveal a “buff-coloured pulp-like substance.” In size it appeared to be as an upturned “salad bowl” circular in form and approximately an inch thick. The professor removed the skin of the object revealing the organic pulp below which was described as of the consistency of “good soft soap”. The stench (smell) was overpowering and quickly induced dizziness and nausea. On exposure to the air this substance quickly turned a livid shade of red like fresh blood. Although the professor placed the material in a tumbler it seemed to attract moisture and began to rapidly liquefy and become a substance not dissimilar from household starch. Within three days the material had deteriorated (evaporated) to become a thick dark residue. On examination of the deposit Professor Graves concluded that it was ash-like in nature. It is worth noting that a bitter dispute broke out between Professor Graves and Amherst College Chemist, Edward Hitchcock who claimed it was fungal in origin while Graves maintained it was meteoric. The matter was never resolved but according to author Jerome Clark it is a far from unusual occurrence. (Sources: John G. Burke – Cosmic Debris, Mysteries of the Unexplained - Readers Digest, Jerome Clarke- Unnatural phenomenon)

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)

On Wednesday, 7 July 1844, Mr. John Seaver was caught in an unusually fierce hailstorm whilst riding the Tremont road. To his astonishment he witnessed an unusual animal lying amongst the ice. It was ten inches in length and four and a half inches in circumference with tentacles protruding from its body. This animal was a squid! This discovery was supported by the high salt content of the hail. The partially frozen squid appeared to have fallen a great distance and was later preserved in spirits. (Source: Pennsylvania Sentinel - 12 July 1841) 1867 AD: COMPLETELY NUTS During the night of 9 May 1867 policemen in Dublin, Ireland, were driven to take shelter from a rainstorm of great proportions into which was mixed vast quantities of nuts and berries that fell with the rain from the sky. The officers noted that these objects seemed driven by a great force. The berries were described as being about half an inch in diameter and in appearance like a much shrunken orange - although black in colour. A study of the objects revealed a faint aromatic odour but the berries remained unidentified. Apparently skeptics claimed the mysterious objects were nothing more than hazelnuts that had been “preserved” in a bog for “centuries”. If this is indeed what they were it still fails to explain what they were doing pelting down from the sky. (Source: Symons Monthly Meteorological Magazine - December 1867)

The Southern part of Memphis Tennessee experienced a rain of living snakes during 1877. It was recorded that thousands fell and ranged in size from a foot to 18 inches in length. (Scientific American - 10 February 1877)

A rain of Nuts

Geodes / Sulphur / Brimstone

Mysterious Rock

Two strange objects both encased in ice fell in the region of Vicksburg, Mississippi on 11 may 1894. The first was an ordinary gopher turtle while the second was a block of alabaster. Both falls occurred during the same hailstorm which was ordinary in type and nature. No tornadoes had been reported in the region. (Source: Monthly weather Review – May 1894)

It appears that clouds do have a silver lining after all. In the Meshchera region of Central Russia “numerous” silver coins rained down during a storm during August 1940. (Source: Michell & Rickard: Phenomena.

Two clergymen had an unexpected windfall when banknotes to the value of 2,000 marks literally fluttered down from a clear and empty sky at Limburg, West Germany. (Source: The Bath and West Evening Chronicle – 6 January 1976)

A red rain fell on Kerala, India in July, 2001. A possible meteor was quickly identified as the cause of the strange-colored rain but quickly retracted when a study identified that the water was filled with fungal spores. CESS director M. Baba said: ‘‘The exact species is yet to be identified. But how such a large quantity of spores could appear over a small region is as yet unknown.’’ (Source: The India Express - Kamal Gopinath Nair - Aug 6 2001)

On the afternoon of 3 January 2007 in Free Hold Township New Jersey a strange metallic object, roughly the size of a baby’s fist fell from the sky and punched a hole through the roof and shattered the tiles of the second storey bathroom before embedding itself in the wall. Lt. Robert Brightman of the Freehold Township Police Department investigated the incident in the Colts Pride Development and contained the unusually heavy object in a glass cylinder stating that it would remain in police custody pending further investigation. Investigators who checked it with a Geiger counter were relieved that it was not radioactive. (Source: New York Times – 4 January 2007) (Copyright notification - see below)

We’ve already found several references for 2008 including a large glass sphere in Kentucky, a shower of ball bearings in Greece and most bizarrely – A Ten Thousand Mark German "ReichsBankNote" encased in ice in the yard of a resident of Manassas, Virginia. We have a photo of this last occurrence but do not have permission to reference to the provider of this information. Still, none of these incidents are verified so will sadly have to stay as possible incidents. There is one last event that is so bizarre that it may even be true. These are just a short collection of the hundreds of accounts of strange objects falling from the sky. We offer no explanations although there may be many. Instead, we simply marvel at the weird wonders of the world that we all live in.