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10 Ways the Earth Is Trying to Kill You


6
Non-aqueous Rain
This illustration depicts a rain of frogs recorded in 1355. © Oxford Science Archive/Print Collector/Getty Images
This illustration depicts a rain of frogs recorded in 1355. © Oxford Science Archive/Print Collector/Getty Images

Torrential rains are a curse for humankind. They cause flash floods that wash away fields and roads and sometimes even people. But there's something even more ominous afoot when dozens of largemouth bass suddenly fall from the heavens.

The technical term for random things falling from the sky is non-aqueous rain, and as the name implies, it can refer to any non-water objects that plop to earth. Non-aqueous rain has a long history — in the Book of Exodus, one of the plagues that afflicted Egypt included a storm of frogs. In 2007, a storm of worms fell in Louisiana. In mass media and in folklore, there are innumerable reports of animal rains including fish, spiders, jellyfish, birds, frogs, toads and other small creatures.

Scientists aren't sure how this phenomenon is possible. They speculate that at least some of these so-called rains, such as worms and snakes, are actually the result of unusual flooding carrying this surprising debris onto land, and nothing actually falls from the sky. In cases where people actually witness animals falling from the big blue, researchers say it's possible that waterspouts or powerful updrafts could snatch groups of animals and then deposit them miles away.

Still, these kinds of animal rains have happened in areas where no wild winds were reported at all. These are just the perplexing kinds of things that happen when your home planet is constantly attempting to do away with you.


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