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The Rain of Fish

A Fish rain from 1555.

Woodcut from Book XX, Ch. XXX, Albertus Magnus’s Description of the Northern Peoples (1555), entitled, “On falling fish, frogs, mice, worms, and stones.”


When fish fall on people's head, on the rooftops of houses, on the streets, people really pay attention, wondering where they come from. The fish (there are also falls of frogs, snails and worms) always fall during unusual heavy rains or violent thunderstorms. Sometimes the amount of fish falls over a large area, but mostly it is confined to a very small area. Most of the time the fish are alive and not hurt or damaged by the fall, so they could not have fallen from very high. Fish have been scooped up and put into buckets and ponds were they survived.  Sometimes these fish have been eaten without any ill effects. Sometimes the fallen fish are all dead and even dry! Occasionally, all of the fallen fish are dead or show signs of decomposition. Forget about the water spout or tornado theory. It just doesn't hold up.


Content of this page:

1. Old Reports of Rain of Fish

2. Newspaper Reports 

3. Other Sources


1. Old Reports of Rain of Fish

The oldest written record of a fall of fishes from the sky appeared in a work called The Deipnosophistae which is is the Latin title of an early 3rd-century AD Greek work. the title translates as "The Dinner Sophists/Philosophers/Experts", and it was written by the Greco-Egyptian author Athenaeus of Naucratis. It is a long work of literary, historical, and antiquarian references set in Rome at a series of banquets held by the protagonist Publius Livius Larensis for an assembly of grammarians, lexicographers, jurists, musicians, and hangers-on. It is sometimes called the oldest surviving cookbook.

"I know also that it has very often rained fishes. At all events, Phoenias, in the second book of his Eresian Magistrates, says that in the Chersonesus it once rained fish uninterruptedly for three days; and Phylarchus, in his fourth book, says that people had often seen it raining fish, and often also raining wheat, and that the same thing has happened with respect to frogs. At all events, Heracleides Lembus, in the twenty-first book of his History, says: "In Paeonia and Dardania it has, they say, before now rained frogs; and so great has been the number of these frogs that the houses and the roads have been full of them; and at first, for some days, the inhabitants, endeavouring to kill them, and shutting up their houses, endured the pest; but when they did no good, but found that all their vessels were filled with them, and the frogs were found to be boiled up and roasted with everything they ate, and when besides all this, they could not make use of any water, nor put their feet on the ground for the heaps of frogs that were everywhere, and were annoyed also by the smell of those that died, they fled the country."

Source: http://www.attalus.org/old/athenaeus8.html  


Letter from Robert Conny published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London in 1698:

"On Wednesday before Easter, anno 1666, a pasture field at Cranstead, near Wrotham, in Kent, about two acres, which is far from any part of the sea, or branch of it, and a place where there are no fish-ponds, but a scarcity of water, was all overspread with little fishes, conceived to be rained down, there having been at that time a great tempest of thunder and rain : the fishes were about the length of a man's little finger, and judged by all who saw them to be young whitings. Many of them were taken up, and showed to several persons. The field belonged to one Ware, a yeoman, who was at that Easter sessions one of the grand inquest, and who carried some of the fish to the sessions of Maidstone, in Kent, and showed them, among others, to Mr. Lake, a bencher of the Middle Temple, who procured one of them, and brought it to London, The truth of it was averred by many that saw the fishes lie scattered ail over the field. There were none in the other fields adjoining: the quantity of them was estimated to be about a bushel."

Source: in modern day English


The same event is mentioned in Edward Hasted, 'Parishes: Stansted', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 5 (Canterbury, 1798), pp. 1-5:

"About Easter, in the year 1666, a pasture field in this parish, which is a considerable distance from the sea or any branch of it, and a place where there are no fish ponds but a scarcity of water, was scattered over with small fish, in quantity about a bushel, supposed to have been rained down from a cloud, there having been at that time a great tempest of thunder, hail, wind, etc. These fish were about the size of a man’s little finger; some were like small whitings, others like sprats, and some smaller like smelts. Several of these fish were shown publicly at Maidstone and Dartford."


In the book Struggles through life, exemplified in the various travels and adventures in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, of Lieut. John Harriott, Volume 1, 1808, page 154:

 "ChapterXXXI

Various anecdotes, viz. fish falling in a shower of rain; deer bounding over soldiers heads in a line of march; a young woman carried of by a tiger in sight of the army.

 BEFORE I leave Madras, I will relate a few anecdotes, of matters, that occurred during any residence in the service. In a heavy shower of rain, while our army was on the march, a short distance from Pondicherry, a quanta small fish fell with the rain, to the astonishment of all. Many of them lodged in the men's hats; when General Smith, who commanded, desired them to be collected, and afterwards when we came to our ground, they were dressed, making a small dish that was served up and eaten at the general's table. These were not flying fish, they were dead, and falling from the common well-known effect of gravity ; but how they ascended, or where they existed, I do not pretend to account. I merely relate the simple fact."


In the Annals of Philosophy, 1816. July-December, page 70 :

II. Showers of Fish

“In Prince of Wales Island, in the East Indies, the inhabitants usually catch the rain-water in tanks placed on the tops of their houses. Frequently these tanks are completely dry for weeks together. When the rainy season comes, they are speedily filled with water. Some fishes are found swimming about in this water, which gradually increase, and acquire the length of several inches. I have been told that the same thing happens in Bengal. These fishes must come down with the rain. It is a matter of some curiosity to be able to explain the source from which these animals are derived. . . . My information was obtained from an East India Captain, who assured me that he had seen the fishes frequently, though he was ignorant of their name, and could not describe their appearance with sufficient precision to enable us to make out the species.”


The following news item appeared in the Northern Whig and Belfast Post on 30th May 1928 and caused considerable interest: "Dozens of tiny red fish were found on the roof of a bungalow on the farm of Mr. James McMaster, Drumhirk, near Comber, and on the ground in the vicinity yesterday morning, and the extraordinary occurrence caused considerable speculation. In the course of enquiries it was ascertained that just before the discovery of the fish there had been an exceptionally violent thunderstorm with heavy rain. There is no river in the neighbourhood, the nearest sheet of water being Strangford Lough, two miles distant, and the theory advanced by an expert was that the fish had been lifted from the sea in a waterspout."

the sameSource: A History of Fishes, by J. R. Norman, Assistant Keeper, Department of Zoology, British Museum {Natural History), 1931, page430 .


The same event appeared in other newspapers, one of which had an interesting observation possible pointing to an effect of some intense energies associated with the event:

"And it Happened on Friday; A remarkable occurrence is reported from Drumhirk, in Ireland: During a thunderstorm dozens of small fish are said to have fallen on the roof of a bungalow at the farm o£ Mr. James McMaster. Some were about two inches long, and they were of a reddish color. Hedges in the neighborhood were blackened as if they had been struck by lightning. There is no river in the immediate neighborhood, the nearest considerable stretch of water being Strangford Lough, about two miles away. Professor Gregg Wilson, of Queen's University, Belfast, interviewed on the subject, said that such occurrences had been reported not infrequently in Great Britain but so far as he knew this was the first of the kind in Ireland."

Source: Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW, Australia),  8 July 1928, Page 6


“. . . the testimony of many has enabled me to ascertain that a shower of herring fell in Lorn [Scotland], about the year 1796, yet I have not met anyone who could inform me of the particulars concerning it. “In the same district, and near the same place, on a small eminence above Melford House, a shower of herring fell in 1821, in every respect so large and good, that the tenants by whom they were found were induced to send some of them to their landlord, then residing in Edinburgh. In regard to the state of the weather, I could learn no more than that it was exceedingly boisterous; while the hill on which they were found is exposed to the southwest wind, which blows along Loch Milford, an arm of the sea in which herrings are frequently found. “In the month of March, 1817, strong gales of wind from the north were experienced in Appin. Upon the evening of the second day of their continuance, rain fell in abundance; and next day being very warm and sultry, some children observed a large quantity of herring-fry scattered over a moss a little to the northeast of the ferry of Shien. There might have been about three barrels or more of these, and measuring from 1½ to 3 inches in length. Now, the place in which they were found is only 300 yards north of Loch Creran, an arm of the sea running east and west, from which several supposed the fry must have been raised. The wind, however, being from the north, renders this a seeming impossibility; and it may, perhaps, be more safely concluded that they must have been ejected from the Linnhe Loch, another arm of the sea, extending southwest and northeast, about 3 miles north of the place in which they were found. A range of moorland, about 300 feet above the level of the sea, intervenes; but it is easier to suppose the cause which originally elevated these fry to be so powerful as to carry them this height and distance, than that they should obtain a course contrary to the general body of air. They exhibited no appearance of being bruised by the fall.”

Source: Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal for 1826, page 186-187


After an earthquake on the 16th of February, 1861, which was followed by heavy rains the following days. The 22nd it rained so hard that one could not see anything three steps ahead.  “When the sun came out again I saw members of Malays and Chinese filling their baskets with fish contained in the pools formed by the rain. They told me the fish has ’fallen from heaven,’ and three days later, when the pools were all dried up, there were still many dead fish lying about. I found them to belong to the Clarias batrachus, which can live a considerable time out of water, and even move to some distance on dry land. As they lay in my courtyard, which is surrounded by a wall, they could not have been brought in by the overflowing of a torrent, nor is there any considerable one in the neighborhood. The space covered by these fishes might be about fifty acres. They were very lively and seemed to be in good health. I have particularly remarked the singular occurrence of the fish, having already, during my stay at the Cape of Good Hope, had occasion to mention to the Academy the fact of several new species of fish being found after an earthquake. Is it permissible to suppose that a waterspout, in passing over some large river of Sumatra, had drawn up the fish and carried them over? It is not without diffidence that I venture this hypothesis.”

Source: Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des séances de l'Académie des sciences, 1861/01 (T52)-1861/06, page 880


The following is taken from The Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal; December 1833, page  650 to 652:

5. Fall of Fish From the Sky.

The phenomenon of fish falling from the sky in the rainy season, however in-credible it may appear, has been attested by such circumstantial evidence, that no reasonable doubt can be entertained of the fact. I was as incredulous as my neighbours, until I once found a small fish, which had apparently been alive when it fell, in the brass funnel of my pluviometer at Benares, which stood on an insulated stone pillar, raised fire feet above the ground in my garden. I have now before me a note of a similar phenomenon, on a considerable scale, which, happened at the Nokalhatty factory, zillah Dacca Jelalpur, in 1830. Mr. Cameron, who communicated the fact, took the precaution of having a regular deposition of the evidence of several natives who had witnessed the fall, made in Bengalee, and attested before the magistrate the statement is well worthy of preservation in a journal of science ; I therefore make no apology for introducing a translation at length. The shower of fish took place on the 19th February, 1830,in the neighbourhood of the Surbundy factory, Feridpoor. J. P.

Deposition of the Witnesses to the Fall of of Fish from rom Heaven, on the 9th of Phalgun 1236 B.E. at Havelli, Zillah Dacca Jelalpur.

1. Shekh Kitabuddin, son of Sbabdi, and Shekh Shumsuddin, son of Bakshu, were called, and declared in their deposition, saying, " That on Friday, in the month of Phalgun, we do not recollect the date, at 12 o'clock P. m., the sky being cloudy, there was slight rain, and a number of fish of different kinds and sizes fell from heaven ; we took some of these fish and retired home. This is the account which we know."

2. Shekh Sulimuddin, son of Ibadullah, inhabitant of Bibhagdi, declared in answer, saying, "On a Friday, in the month of Phalgun, the date of which I do not recollect, at 12 o'clock evening, while I was coming from a village named Nuksibalit, I perceived a badeli fish, large about one cubit, fall before me from the sky; after which, I went further, and found another fish of the same size, lying upon the ground. I picked up these two fish and proceeded forward ; and as soon I arrived at home, I found, to my great surprise, that many persons had likewise collected fish, and carried along with them. This is my account, and I know no mores"

 3. Shekh Muniruddin, son of Mydi, inhabitant of Umerbati, expressed in his deposition, " About 12 o'clock P. u. on Friday of Phalgun, the date of which I have forgot, the clouds being gathered together, began to rain, and a little after, many fish, large and small, began to fall from the sky. I picked up some of them and carried to my house, but I did not like to taste any of them. I know no more of this account."

4. Fakirchand Chang, inhabitant of Nagdi, was called in, and declared in his deposition, "That in the month of Phalgan, the date and day of which have escaped my memory, at 12 o'clock P.m, the sky began to be cloudy, and to rain little ; while I was sitting in the front part of my cottage, I observed a mirgal, and some other fish, bodulis, &c. of different size, fall from the sky. I picked up about five or six of these fish to satisfy my curiosity, but afterwards threw them away, and did not eat them at all. This is my account."

5. Shekh Chaudhari Ahmed, son of Mutiullah, inhabitant of Nagdi, relates in his deposition, "That I had been doing my work at a meadow, where I perceived at the hour of 12 o'clock, the sky gather clouds, and began to rain slightly, then a large fish touching my back by its head fell on the ground. Being surprised, I looked about, and behold a number of fish likewise fell from heaven ! They were saul, sale, guzl, mirgal, and bodul. I took 10 or 11 fish in number, and I saw many other persons take many—then I returned home, I looked at heaven, and I saw like a flock of birds flying up, but these my perceptions was not clear enough. Amongst these fish, many were found rotten, without heads, and others fresh and perfect ; and amongst the number which I had got, five were fresh, and the rest stinking and headless.

6. Shekh Turikullah, inhabitant of Nagdi, 12 years of age, declared in his deposition, "That in the month of Phalgun, on a certain Friday, I do not recollect the date, while I was sitting in my own house, I perceived a number of fish fall from the sky, some of them on the roof of my cottage one of them was large, about one cubit, and three seers in weight. I know no more."

7. Shekh Suduruddin, inhabitant of Nagdi, was called in, and declared in his deposition, saying, " On Friday, at 12 o'clock p. m. in the month of Phalgan, I do not recollect the date, when I was at work in a field, I perceived the sky darkened by clouds, began to rain a little, and a large fish fell from the sky. I was confounded at the light, and soon entered my small cottage, which I had there, but I came out again as soon as the rain had ceased, and found every part of my hut scattered with fish, they were boduli and mirgal, and amounted to 25 in number.—I know no more."

8. Shekh Katbuddin, inhabitant of Nagdi, relates in his deposition, saying, "At 12 o'clock P. m. of Friday of Phaligun, the date I forget ; as I was coming from the fields, I saw a number of fish spread on the bank of a nala. I picked up six of them, viz. two bodulu, and two mirgal besides trees, there were many other fish of numerous kinds, and they were witnessed by many persons who were there. Some of these fish were fresh, but others rotten and without heads. I know no more."

9. Sree Dipchundru Bundopadhya, son of Puncharam Bundopadhya, inhabitant of Sobindi, aged 45 years, declared in his deposition, "That in the month of Phalgun, I cannot recollect the date, seeing the sky commenced to gather clouds, I sat down near the door of a workman's cottage ; it was then precisely 12 o'clock, when a drizzling rain began to fall ; and at the same time, two bodulu fish fell down from heaven. I soon got up and marched on, and in the midst of the road, saw several other fish fallen before me. I picked up some of these fish-but one named Banchha Ram Chung forbade me, saying, ` Do not touch these fish ; you do not know what fish they are, and how they have fallen here.' Listening to him, I threw away all the fish, and went away. This is my account of the fish." [Several other depositions of those who were not immediately eye-witnesses omitted.]


2. Newspaper Reports 

MEAT FROM THE SKY.

A British steamship sailing from Beira, East Africa, to Philadelphia. was recently the subject of a remarkable occurrence. When the vessel was in the Atlantic below the equator, many, miles from land, a school of fish flew over the vessel. Many struck the masts and fore-rigging, and, dropping to the deck, were killed by the fall, being gathered up by the bushel. The supply of salt meat was getting low on the ship, and the unlooked for godsend of fish, which were larger than the species found in Northern latitudes, was enough to furnish meals for the crew for several days.

Source: Shepparton Advertiser (Victoria, Australia), 8 January 1925, page 5


FISH FROM SKY.

The phenomenon of fish being rained down occurred in Adelong on Wednesday last with the last rain. Hundreds of little fish were deposited on the top of a hill, where no water other than rain water ever lodged. Workmen carting carting gravel for the roads from the top of the hill shoveled hundreds of the little fish into the drays. It was at first thought that the fish were trout, but experts declared them to be young carp.

Source: The Gloucester Advocate (NSW, Australia), 5 November 1935, Page 3)


Extraordinary Showers

From the Washington Star.

On the 14th of June last the people of Harvard, a town in Clay county, Nebraska, were startled by a rain storm, which was accompanied by a fall of fishes, apparently from the sky. These fishes, which were alive, fell in large quantities. Many of them were picked up by residents of the place and preserved in aquaria or in alcohol. Mr. May, fish commissioner of the state of Nebraska, happening to be in the neigbourhood of Harvard, secured some of the fishes, and as he had business with Prof. Baird in this city, brought the fish with him to Washington for the purpose of having their identity fixed. A Star reporter inspected the fish in Dr. Tarleton H. Bean's laboratory next the Smithsonian. There were half a dozen young fish about an inch and a half in length each, preserved in alcohol. "We often hear of its raining fishes," said Dr. Bean, as the Star reporter examined the bottle containing the fishes. "This is a case about which there is no doubt, and which proves that the story about showers of fish are not mythical. I am glad that we have had opportunity, not only to prove the fact that fishes are rained down, but to investigate and explain I what appears to be out of the natur al order of things. These fish prove to be a common species of that region—the fat-head or black-head min now. ...

Source: Little Falls Transcript (Little Falls, Morrison County, Minnesota.),  August 20, 1886, Page 6; and The Bolivar Bulletin (Bolivar, Hardeman County, Tennessee), September 03, 1886, page 4  


RAINED FISH AND EELS.

Natches, Miss., April 27.-During an unusual heavy rain here Tuesday fish and eels fell from the sky and were picked up alive, according to a number of persons. Several of the fish and eels were brought to the office of the Natches Democrat and the occurrence has created much speculation as to how the finny specimens were drawn up into the clouds, although it is stated by old residents that the incident is not unusual.

Source: Tensas Gazette (St. Joseph, Louisiana), April 29, 1921, page 2


Fish Fell from the Sky.

 John S. Fogg, a cattleman and farmer, brought a dozen small fish to the city to-day and told in an interesting manner of finding them floundering about on the hot, dry prairie at noon, having apparently fallen from the sky, a black cloud appeared hiding the sun, and several bright flashes of lightning came from the cloud, after which the fish were seen glistening and lively, evidently much disconcerted by their surroundings. They are small specimens of the perch family, and Mr. Fogg's idea that they fell from the cloud is fully believed by men of experience. Mr. H. E. Amboid said it is no uncommon thing for a fish to fall out of a passing cloud.

 Source: Mexico Weekly Kedger (Mexico, Missouri), August 09, 1900, front page


Rained Fishes and Frogs.

KANSAS CITY, Mo., June 26. The report comes from Fort Scott that in one of the heaviest storms which ever visited that section of Kansas thousands of small fishes and frogs fell from the sky. The market place was covered and thousands of the fishes were taken from pools of water loft by the rain.

Source: The Salt Lake tribune (Salt Lake City, Utah), June 27, 1904, Page 11 ; and The Sun (New York, New York), June 22, 1904, Front Page


A RAIN OF FISH.

Jamestown Alert: R. E. Wallace and son took five barrels of different kind of fish from the water holes along side the road near the Mutz school last week and put the young fish in Spirit wood lake. Several of the varieties were sent to the fish commissioner at Washington, with an account of the circumstances. It is supposed that the young fish rained down as no other means of propagation are known to have been used. There are said to be millions of the fish left in the little slough. While the superintendent, in charge of the government fish car, was here last year he stated that there was no doubt that young fish, frogs and lizards were deposited in rain fall.

Source: Bismarck Daily Tribune (Bismarck, Dakota (North Dakota)), August 20, 1902, page 3; and Jamestown Weekly Alert (Jamestown, Stutsman County, D.T. [N.D.]), 21 Aug. 1902, front page  


Rained Fish at Groom.

The Groom correspondent of the Daily Panhandle reports a fish rain at that place on the evening of May 30th. He says: At 5 o'clock in the afternoon the clouds began to cluster in the northwest. They swirled together in an upward direction and banked in a confused mass for an hour before the rain began to fall. At about 0 o'clock the rain began to fall in perfect torrents. The clouds at the same time were moving south. In the cloud mass was a streak of greenish blue where the clouds seemed to shoot upwards and climb over each other. To one side of this dividing streak scarcely any rain fell and on the other, hardly a hundred yards away, the downpour was so violent that the air was as dark as in the densest fog. On J. M. Alexander's farm one mile from Groom, fish, some of them being almost a foot in length, fell during the storm. How far these fish came, or where they came from cannot be discovered, but it is supposed that they were sucked up into the clouds and carried a considerable distance before being let down out of the whirl. At any rate the fish came during the rainstorm.

Source:  Canyon City News (Canyon City, Texas), 07 June 1907, front page


A fish story

Cripple Creek, Colo., Aug. 25. It actually rained fish here to day. During a short shower of rain and hail thousands of fish from one and a half to two inches long fell in the vicinity of Union baseball park. More than four bushels, of the finny downpour were swept up in and around the yard of John Peters, a carpenter. Some of the fish were taken to Mayor A. F. Hassenplug, who is considered an authority and he pronounced them full grown specimens of the Alesco family of the Pacific ocean and said they must have been drawn up by a water spout and carried thousands of miles in the clouds. He expressed the further opinion that the fish were alive when they fell to the earth.

Source: The Morning News (Estancia, New Mexico), 29 August 1911, front page and Bisbee Daily Review (Bisbee, Ariz.), 27 Aug. 1911, front page and El Paso Herald (El Paso, Texas), 26 August 1911, section 2 page 10

 [can you believe that 'authority' said "thousands of miles"?]


For fifteen minutes fish rained on the farms north of Janesville, Wis., recently. When the rain storm with which they came ended the ground was covered with them. There were thousands, and the cattle tracks, pools, wagon ruts and wherever water could settle were alive with them. They were all the common "shiner."

Source: The Anderson Intelligencer (Anderson Court House, South Carolina), 09 June 1892, page 2  and Pittsburg Dispatch (Pittsburg, Penssylvania), 01 June 1892, page 4


Chicago Has Minnow Shower Covering Two Blocks

 CHICAGO. In the 1200 and 1300 block of School street weather talk isn't the last resort of bored social victims. Weather is the one hot topic. Books and bets are being made on it. Not any of that easy phenomena like equinoctial storms or typhoons, either. It's a piscatorial shower that has fussed up the neighborhood. It rained fish in those two blocks. Citizens of impeccable veracity assert it And they produced between 60 and 70 tiny minnows plucked out of the snow after the morning's rain to prove it. The little fish were burled in the snow as if they bad fallen a considerable distance. Little Robert Hellwlg was the first to discover the "fish rain." He  ran into the house with two or three children began to find minnows their hunt. In yards facing School street dozen of the small fish were found. Excited discussion developed as to how the minions made their appearance. It was pointed out that the fishing season is closed, hence the improbability of "the shower" being bait thrown away by some Izaak Walton. One man advanced the theory that the minnows were drawn up Into the clouds in some warmer clime and there held by density until their filmy conveyance was driven northward to dissolve in rain Others reminded that it was an that it rains little frogs. Prof. C. L. Mitchell of the United about it "Bunk!" said he. "It doesn't rain should say the fish got on School street just by natural finny affinity for schools eh?

Source: The Spanish American. (Roy, Mora Co., New Mexico), 17 Feb. 1917, page 3 and Tensas Gazette. (St. Joseph, Louisiana), 09 March 1917, page 10


Rained Fish and Frogs.

Leavenworth, Ind., Aug. 1. Minute fish and frogs fell hero Thursday in a regular shower. The fish were three fourths of an inch in length, and the frogs less than one-half inch. Many were preserved in alcohol by the citizens, to convince, skeptics that the phenomena really occurred.

Source: The Evening Bulletin (Maysville, Kentucky), 01 Aug. 1891, page 4


Crawfordville, Ind., July 15. During a storm Sunday night a number of fish and angle-worms fell from the clouds. The fish were from two to four inches long, and many of them were eyeless, like those in Mammoth cave.

Source: The Evening Bulletin (Maysville, Kentucky), 15 July 1890, front page


Shower of Fish

Waco Oct 29. Small fish of several varieties rained from the clouds On the premises of Special Officer Curry a number of small catfish tumbled down from the sky during a brisk shower one weighing two ounces drop ping close to the front door.

Source: Palestine Daily Herald (Palestine, Texas), 29 Oct. 1904, page 5 


A shower of fish, large and small. rained down on the farm of Geo. Knight in Knox county, Ind.. the other day. Mr. Knight gathered up near a wagon load of the fish as proof of the occurrence.

Source: Northern Tribune (Cheboygan, Michigan), 07 May 1885, page 5


A Strange Sight in Alabama

We have often beard of fish being rained from the cloud but have never seen an eye witness of the phenomenon until last week. N. P. Thompson, one of our leading prairie planter, assures us that on the twelfth of October last, he saw three fish of the perch variety fall into his front yard during a shower of rain. Mr. T. gathered up the fish, which were still alive, notwithstanding their long and rapid journey through space toward the centre of gravity, and after satisfying himself that they were only ordinary perch, placed them in no adjacent stream, where they swam of as lively as if terranean streams and not celestial vapors were their natural element. Mr. Thompson says that he is not a natural philosopher enough to explain this strange occurrence, but that he is absolutely certain that the fish did fall from the clouds.

Source: Centre Democrat (Bellefonte, Pennsylvania), 23 Nov. 1882, page 4  and Juniata Sentinel and Republican (Mifflintown, Juniata County, Pennsylvania), 15 Nov. 1882, page 2


Rain Fish During Storm Out In Kansas Town

 Lawrence. Kan., June 27. — The champion "fish story" is told here by residents and verified by professor F. E. Kester of the University of Kansas that it rained fish during a storm. Following a heavy storm the other morning, a large number of minnows an inch or so long were found floating in the gutters. Their bladders were bursted. Professor Kester, in commending on the fact said that it was perfectly possible for minnows to be rained from the sky. He explained that they were carried into the air by water spouts, or whirlwinds over creeks. and held there by strong air currents in the same manner as clouds. The bursting of the bladders was due, he said, to the fact that the air pressure in the higher altitude is lower than on the earth or in the water.

Source: El Paso Herald (El Paso, Texas), 27 June 1919, page 4


RAINED JELLY FISH!

 MELBQitJBiNE, Friday. During a rainstorm at Frankston to-day, thousands of small jelly fish fell from the sky. Some were half an inch in diameter, and others smaller. The acting Commonwealth Meteorologist said that probably the jelly fish were raised out of the sea by short, lifting waterspouts.

Source: Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia), Saturday 14 September 1935, page 2


Fish From Sky.

It rained fish last week at Nyngan, Byrock and Girilambone (N.S.W.). After 60 points at Byrock, thousands of fish, 5in. to 6in. long were found in the streets. Byrock is 48 miles from the Darling and 31 from Bogan River. There are no creeks nearby.

Source: Albany Advertiser (Western Australia), Monday 3 April 1939, Page 2


FISH FROM SKY

Thousands of small fish fell in a 10-acre field 10 miles from the sea near Hastings, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, during a shower last week. The fish, about four inches long, resemble snapper.

Source: Worker (Brisbane, Qld., Australia), Monday 18 July 1949, Page 8


Fish rain down on Sri Lanka village

Villagers in west Sri Lanka have said they have been surprised and delighted by an unusual rainfall of small fish. The edible fish fell during a storm and are believed to have been lifted out of a river during a strong wind. Villagers in the district of Chilaw said they heard something heavy falling and found scores of fish with a total weight of 50kg (110lbs). It is not the first such incident in Sri Lanka - in 2012, a case of "prawn rain" was recorded in the south. ... Villagers say that the "fish rain shower" took place on Monday with the creatures falling on the village green, roads and roofs. Some of the fish - each three to five inches (5cm-8cm) in length - were still alive and were put in a buckets of water by villagers who ate them later. This is the third time this has happened in Sri Lanka, but not from the same area. In addition to the reported "prawn rain" of 2012 in the south, there was yellow and red "meteor rain" the same year - a weather development that is reportedly still being investigated by US and British scientists. Fish is a valued commodity in Sri Lanka.

Source: BBC News, 6 May 2014  


Ethiopia: 'Fish Rain' in Dire Dawa

By Girmachew Gashaw

Unusually, fish-rain occurred on Sunday [January 31. 2016) at 11; 30 pm in Dire Dawa City Eastern part of Ethiopia for a few minutes both in rural and urban areas. According to Dire Dawa Agriculture, Water, Mining and Energy Bureau Public Relations Officer Hadera Yesuf the fish rain happened in Dechatu and Finfinne or 05 and 06 kebeles of urban areas as well as Eyawale Woreda, Adada kebele in rural Dire Dawa. People in these areas were stunned by the occurrence to the extent of referring it a blessing from Almighty God, she said.

Source: The Ethiopian Herald, February 2, 2016 


Winton's mysterious fishy tale amid Queensland drought  (Australia)

 March 9, 2016

Tahnee Oakhill from Bernfels station said she was stunned to see a number of fish flapping on a gravel road in front of her home on Wednesday. The fish appeared after 75 millimetres of rain fell on the Oakhill's property, 70 kilometres north-west of Winton in western Queensland. "It's pretty crazy, getting that much rain was pretty shocking and then that happening after that ... it's been a weird week," Ms Oakhill said. Ms Oakhill said her husband found the fish and raced inside to tell her and their children. "If he tells me it's just rained fish I'm going to go out and have a look because he's either mad or it's [really] just happened," she said. Ms Oakhill said her children spent hours rescuing the fish. "They had a ball, they were going a little bit bat crazy in the house with the rain and the wet day," she said. "[Then] they were out there in the mud for hours after that, collecting them up and putting them in a container with some water and trying to figure out what they were going to do with these fish. "They were pretty amazed, I think it was very exciting for them." Ms Oakhill shared a video of the fish on social media, which prompted a storm of discussion, with many saying they had seen something similar before. She said her father was particularly delighted to hear about the fish. "When I told him about it he said 'You need to make sure you put that on the internet or Facebook because it happened to me one and no-one believed me!'" she said.

Wonston fish rain

Tahnee Oakhill's daughter Hadley with one of the perch fish she discovered in front of the family's property in western Queensland.

Source: ABC News Australia; original video of Tahnee Oakhill on Facebook


Winter storm delivers fish in Fulshear residents' yards

FULSHEAR, Texas - Along with snow, sleet and ice, Tuesday’s storm left  something else at Dana and Ryan Metz’s house. Fish. A lot of them.  They turned up Tuesday afternoon as sleet was coming down. 

“We came back in. The dog wouldn’t come back in, she was playing with a leaf, and we found out later it was a fish instead of leaves,” Dana said. “I looked down and there it was laying there, three or four fish, and started walking around found about 15, found a few in the pool, so it was weird,” Ryan said.  The family collected about 15 of them.

Wednesday, when KPRC visited, there was still one in the pool and another on the roof.  And the Metzes aren’t the only ones in the neighborhood who saw sleeting fish.  A neighbor, Holly Gard, shot video of the fish she found littering her yard.  In all, about 10 neighbors in the Cross Creek Ranch subdivision near Fulshear discovered fish had literally fallen from the sky. 

Source: KPRC Click2Houston, January 17, 2018

Fulshear fish

Paul Cropper, on his blog The Fortean, did an investigation in this case. He found that the fish fell in an area roughly three quarters of a mile by half a mile. He estimated that in total about 130 fish fell in the neighborhood; they were are alive. One fish was photographed on a roof and another on a windowsill. Others were found in front and back yards, on local walking paths and in backyard pools. A local Bernie, sent several of the fish he had found a week after the fall to the University of Texas. Ichthyology Collection Manager Adam Cohen said they were threadfin shad, Dorosoma petenense. Cropper also contacted National Weather Service in Houston, who said that “Radar shows no thunderstorms, really just stratiform precipitation (mostly sleet/ice pellets). Waterspouts, tornadoes would not make sense at all from the meteorology of the day, and no hint of any rotation or anything odd on radar. It remains a mystery as far as I’m concerned”.


3. Other sources

Fish Rain in Amalapuram, India

Various Indian media sources, including the Times of India, reported a rain of fish in Amalapuram, a town in the East Godavari district of the state of Andhra Pradesh. The event took place on 17 December (2018) at around 4pm, just as cyclone Phethai hit the coastline near Yanam, around 40km north-east of Amalapuram. The report stated that nearly 100 fish (known locally as Gidasalu in the Telegu language) had fallen onto land beside a canal and in front of a municipal school.

The various news reports do not feature any direct witnesses to the Amalapuram fall. The Times’ report states the event was first shared in a WhatsApp group by a friend of the original owner of the video.

Source: The Fortean


Rain of Fish at Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra, India, July 13, 2018

 Monsoon rain with fish at Fatehpur Sikri Buland Darwaza. Subject of curiosity.

rain of fish at Fatehpur Sikri, India

In Agra, fishes rained from the skies! Yes, you might be shocked on hearing this. When fishes rained from skies in monsoon rains at the tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti, at Fatehpur Sikri in Agra the people present there were astonished. When fishes of 4 to 6 inches in size fell at Buland Darwaza along with monsoon rains, everyone was surprised. A few children even took these fishes to their homes. Everyone who heard this news was surprised.

rain of fish at Fatehpur Sikri, India

 Monsoon knocks at the door

Monsoon has knocked in Agra. It rained heavily on Thursday in Agra. During the rains, suddenly a few fishes fell on the ground along with the rain water at Sheikh Salim Chisti Dargah, at Buland Darwaza. When people saw fishes of about 6” size they were surprised. A few children who were present there even took these to their homes. When their family members asked them, they told them that it rained fishes from the skies. People got curious on learning the news of fishes raining along with monsoon rains. These white fishes dropping from sky became a matter of discussion amongst people.

People reached due to Curiosity.

People thronged to Buland Darwaza. It is understood that due to the intensity of the monsoon, fishes from the nearby ponds came here. Assistant Archaeologist, ASI, Fatehpur Sikri Mr. Kalandar Singh said, he has been told that fishes were raining with water in monsoon near Buland Darwaza.

Source: Patrika.com, July 12, 2018


Iranian Fish Fall, Golpayegan, Iran

 April 2018

from a YouTube video, uploaded on Apr 24, 2018

The fish were discovered on a Golpayegen roadway after rain. An accompanying video shows many small fish, some alive, distributed along a section of paved highway. People appear to have stopped their vehicles to collect the live fish. The video that appeared on YouTube shows hundreds of little fish on the road, and some people picking them up. The footage is from a cellphone recording.

Also reported on Farda news website.


Facebook post of Protección Civil Tamaulipas

September 26, 2017  (Tampico is in Mexico)

Curious case in Tampico (Col. Lomas de Rosales) where there was a light rain that included small fish that literally fell from the sky.

Tampico fish rain


"It's raining fish" at an elementary school in Oroville (California)

A very unusual incident this week left students and staff at an Oroville elementary school bewildered; they say that Tuesday, it "rained fish". There are plenty of witnesses to the aftermath ... but no one has actually claimed to have seen the fish falling from the sky onto Stanford Avenue Elementary. "We came out here and all the sudden the kids start yelling really loud, 'look at this'," said Campus Supervisor Liz Barber-Gabriel. It started out a typical Tuesday at Stanford Avenue Elementary school ... then just before noon, the campus was suddenly littered with fish. "The kids were so excited, we wanted to figure out where they came from ... We couldn't - they were in the playground, in the rubber, everywhere," said Barber-Gabriel. The campus supervisor says the entire playground area was covered. "They were small, and same color, and it looked like about 60 minimum, everywhere," said Barber-Gabriel. So was it a prank or a strange weather phenomenon? A custodian climbed up on the roof to learn more. Sure enough, he found dozens more fish on the rooftop. "My first concern was who was on the campus that we don't know about ... But the campus supervisors didn't see any adult, the custodians didn't see anything odd, so we kind of ruled that one out" said Principal Shannon Capshew. So if it wasn't trespassers ... could they have literally fallen from the sky? "Years back there was an account of raining Trout in Chico, so my thought was, 'did they come from the fish hatchery'?" wondered Gabriel. A good question .. So I gave them a call. But a representative for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife down the street at the Feather River Hatchery says there were no deliveries that day. Based on the photos we showed them, they believe the fish to be a type of carp - a warm water fish that may be found in the Thermalito Afterbay - but not in the nearby Feather River. One of their wardens has now joined in on solving this puzzle. "We called DWR to see what was going on because we hadn't seen parents with buckets of fish .. It was just very strange," said Capshew.

Source: Action News Now (California), May 18th 2017 (https://www.actionnewsnow.com/story/34186722/about-us; link is not active anymore))

rain of fish in Oroville


 

Mystery falling fish appear in Aberdeenshire garden

An Aberdeenshire man has asked for help in identifying fish which have appeared outside his house. Kevin Bain found about 75 small fish in his back garden on Thursday. He believes their arrival is the result of a waterspout which sucked the animals from the sea and dropped them on his property. Mr Bain said he thinks the two-inch fish are sand eels but is trying to find out more. Speaking to BBC Scotland, he said: "To start with, I thought the fish had been dropped by birds but there were far too many. "It has been stormy for the past few nights, so it's possible that a water spout has lifted the fish from the sea during the bad weather. "It's a really strange phenomenon." Mr Bain lives around 500m from the sea in the Aberdeenshire town of Banff. He shared his discovery on video streaming app Periscope, in the hope someone would shed some light on the appearance of the fish.

Source: BBC News, 12 August, 2016

Picture from the video he posted:

Aberdeenshire fish


Near Yoro town in Honduras there happens a heavy rain in May - July. That would be nothing that special - but after this rain countless small, living fishes are left jumping in the fields as if they have fallen from the sky. Thunderstorm and fish The fish rain takes place in the beginning of rainy period somewhere in May - July. There comes a day, when in the afternoon comes frightening, dark cloud with furious lightning and thunder. Downpours of heavy rain and strong winds continue at least 45 minutes and may last even for several hours. As the storm leaves, people of Yoro pick up baskets and run out to the swampy meadows of La Pantanal at the foot of extinct volcano El Mal Nombre (Bad Word). Hundreds and even thousands of jumping, live fish are found in the wet meadows as if fallen from the sky during the storm. People collect the fish to bring it home and eat - fish is told to have specific taste, different from the taste of common fish. To be correct - major part of fish though is not collected from ground but is caught in the temporary basins and streams formed by heavy rain. It is not known when this phenomenon started - first reports are from the middle of 19th century, when first missionary Father Subirana came here. We may believe that this rain has existed before as well.

All agree that it is rather small, some 12 - 15 cm long and might be a kind of sardine. This kind of fish is not seen in waters around Yoro.

Source: Wonder Mondo website


There is an interesting leaflet (FL 513. Rains of fishes, by Lola T. Dees. Apr. 1961) from the UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, BUREAU OF COMMERCIAL FISHERIES, published in April 1961, giving an overview of fish rains. It gives the following fall:

"An odd case occurred during a heavy storm at Essen, Germany, in 1896. A hailstone as  large as a hen's egg fell ; it contained a frozen Crucian carp (Carrasius) about 1- 1/2 inches long ."

This would indicate that it fell from very high in the atmosphere.

Another fall it reports:

A more recent rain of fish occurred on October 23, 1947 in Marksville, Louisiana (Bajkov, 1949). Between 7 and 8 o ' clock of that morning fish, raining from 2 to 9 inches long, fell on the streets, roofs of houses, and lawns. Two merchants were struck by falling fishes as they walked toward their places of business . There were areas on Main Street that averaged one fish per square yard. The area in which they fell was about 1,000 feet long and 75 or 80 feet wide, extending in a north-south direction, and was covered unevenly by fish. The fish were fresh-water species native to local waters: largemouth black bass, warmouth, two species of sunfish, several species of minnows, and hickory shad. The actual falling of the Marksville fish occurred in short intervals, during foggy and comparatively calm weather. The velocity of the wind on the ground did not exceed 8 miles per hour. The New Orleans weather bureau had no report of any large tornado, or updraft, in the vicinity of Marksville at that time

In 1989, in Ipswich, Australia, Harold and Degen's front lawn was covered with about 800 "sardines" that rained from above during a light shower.

In an otherwise clear sky in Chilatchee, Alabama in 1956, a woman and her husband watched as a small dark cloud formed in the sky. When it was overhead, the cloud released its contents: rain, catfish, bass and bream - all of the fish alive. The dark cloud had turned to white, then dispersed.


The following article originally appeared in the July 1992 issue of Old Rhode Island magazine. It is an event of fish fall in Rode Island in 1900, with a a lot of details.

It was, as The Providence Daily Journal reported, "a day for the lightest of clothing, for the glorious outing shirt and for straw hats and long, cool drinks." It was the kind of day to lazily sit by a stream with a fishing pole and watch for the elusive fish or two to come popping up from the water—but it certainly wasn't a day for fish to come raining down from the heavens. But on that Tuesday afternoon of May 15, 1900, fish did rain from the sky at two places in Olneyville in Rhode Island. And so many fish rained down that people collected them in buckets, displayed them in their homes, and brought them into saloons to gawk at. Rhode Islanders have endured many strange ordeals, but none had ever lived through a rainfall of fish.

To, er, go upstream a bit: The week before, temperatures had been near freezing and had ruined the state's early crops of vegetables and strawberries. But that turn-of-the-century day in mid-May had been an extremely hot one, with the mercury peaking at 93 degrees at 3pm and almost topping a then 20-year record-high temperature. The day was so hot, the rails of the recently constructed Washington Street drawbridge had expanded and the bridge would not go completely down. Despite the low humidity which made the day's soaring temperatures bearable, The Providence Daily Journal reported that there had been a land-office business in soft drink sales due to the weather and that thick woolen jackets were "an abomination." At about 4pm, though, the weather changed drastically: The temperature, then at 90 degrees, dropped in a few minutes to 73 degrees. The wind started blowing at gale force, the sky grew so dark it was as though an eclipse was happening; lightning flashed non-stop and hailstones fell from the sky. Horses were unable to move forward because of the wind; some carriages, along with their horses, were blown onto their sides. The heavy wooden top of a water tower at the Lederer Building on Stewart and Conduit Streets in Providence was flung into the air like a giant disk and landed in the front parlor of a nearby home (nobody was injured). A large billboard at 42 Exchange Place (apparently a bawdy entertainment venue) advertising a performance of "Sappho" or some other play, was, according to The Journal, "compelled to cease its wicked occupation" and ended up in the street. Some women became hysterical due to the wildly stormy weather. And in Olneyville, fish rained down—in a swirling motion—like manna from the heavens. "So far as reported," said The Journal, "the rainfall of fish occurred in two places. The better fishing ground was on Harris Avenue, near Grove Street railroad crossing. Here hundreds of pout, from 2 inches to 4.5 inches in length, fell on an area of about a quarter of an acre." "The other fishing ground was on Joslin Street, near Manton Avenue, on high ground, far above the tops of the mill chimneys situated on the lower level of Harris Avenue. Here the fall of fish was comparatively small. But there was a much better variety, for there were small perch as well as pout and a pail was half filled with them."

As to how many fish did rain from the sky, it was hard to determine. Yet enough fish had rained that they were being found in the street as late as 10pm. As further testimony to their abundance, most Olneyville families living near the fish falls had at least one put on display after the storm. (For posterity, the downtown office of The Journal had one of these fish in its front window to show doubting readers the next day.) One "Policeman Sullivan," said The Journal, "whose sturdy character and reputation for veracity in his many years of service in that locality (Olneyville) has been considered as firm as a rock, was one who vouched for the truth of the declaration that it rained fishes on Harris Avenue and Grove Street, for he saw them fall and he secured one wriggling pout at least four inches in length..." Many boys gathered as many of the fish as they could and sold them for souvenirs. Some folk wouldn't go near these raining fish due to "superstitious dread." And at least one of these usually underwater creatures became larger than life. Reported The Journal: "A young man name Hanivan seized upon a lively pout as soon as it fell and took it to Corcoran and O'Garra's Saloon at the corner of Broadway and Valley Streets, where it was placed in a tank of water and spent the evening swimming about contentedly while customers sipped their beer and gazed at it and sipped and talked until some of them were inclined to go out and tell their friends that the tank was full of fishes with horns and other queer things. But they did see one of the remarkable fish that rained down on Olneyville and it was still alive at midnight. Before closing time many a man who had heard late of the phenomenon developed a great thirst and saw the one that was preserved alive."

And as if the rain of fish was not strange enough for Olneyville to cope with in one day, several people reported that something else unusual rained from the sky while fish were pummeling everyone: ice-covered pebbles, which supposedly rained down in Olneyville Square. Perhaps because no ice-covered pebbles were preserved and because few witnesses of this event could be located, The Journal seemed to doubt the authenticity of this second phenomenon: "There are stories that this man or that man was prompt to gather hailstones and holding them in his hands was surprised to find when the icy covering melted away he still had a little white pebble such as are found on the shores of rivers or ponds. But no one has thus far been found who actually had hail melt in his hand and leave a shining white pebble."

Source: Quahog.org