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Rain of Worms

Strange Things from the Sky

A correspondent writes that after a heavy storm recently he saw the pavement of a town sprinkled with many small earthworms, apparently lifeless, and looking as if they had boon drowned, and, since it was seemingly Impossible that they could, have crawled there in such numbers, he wishes to know if science can throw any light on their probably origin...

Source: The Border Morning Mail and Riverina Times (Albury, NSW, Australia), 7 July 1914, Page 4)


A letter from Bucharest [Rumania] reports a curious atmospheric phenomenon which occurred there on tie 25th ultimo at a quarter past 9 in the evening.  During the day the heat was stiffing, and the sky cloudless. Towards nine o’clock a small cloud appeared on the horizon and a quarter of an hour afterwards rain began to fall when to the horror of everybody, it was found to consist of black worms of the size of an ordinary fly. All the streets were strewn with these curious animals. We trust there was some one in the town sufficiently interested in natural history to preserve some specimens, and that we shall hear something further respecting this phenomenon. — Levant Times, August 6.

Source: Evening News (Sydney, Australia), 10 December 1872, page 3)


Shower of Worms.

The Morrineville correspondent of a New Zealand paper writes: "A curious phenomenon occurred here one day last week, and was noticed on the farm of Mr. Turubull, who lives about a mile from the township. During a heavy squall there fell a shower of small red worms of bright colour, varying in size from an inch to an inch and a half in length. Vessels, such as milk dishes, dishes, etc., were filled to a depth of from one to three inches, and the worms lay nearly an inch thick upon the yard about the house and in the grass land about the vicinity. They were, however, soon dried up by the sun and unfortunately none were saved for transmission to the Auckland Society.

Source: Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW, Australia), 10 January 1891, Page 9)


Connella Vows He Saw Worms Fall From Sky

 Will now Believe That at Times It May Even "Rain Cats and Dogs:

Worms which "fell from the sky" Thursday evening in the drenching downpour that succeeded the humid heat of the early afternoon, covered the sidewalks in several portions of the town and were the object of wonder to spectators. That the worms covered the sidewalk is known to a number of persons, and that they fell from the sky is vouched for by at least one man. Several others are said to have witnessed the phenomenon. J. W. Connella, deputy collector of internal revenue, is the man who declares he saw the worms fall from the heavens. "I was going home yesterday after noon," says Connella, "and luckily I had my umbrella with me. In the heaviest portion of the storm I suddenly noticed that the sidewalk all about my feet was alive with worms of all sizes varying from one-eighth of an inch to three Inches." "Wondering where they came from, I looked out, from my umbrella and found they were falling from the sky. I don't think I was mistaken. Several other persons along the sidewalk admitted that they had seen the same thing."  Connella has traveled a good bit over various parts of the earth, and seen a good many interesting things, but he says that this is the first time he has ever seen a shower of worms. "I have heard that it rains cats and dogs,he says, and after seeing this I almost believe that too is possible." Mark Colburn, head janitor at the capitol grounds, is accredited with saying when Connella told him , the story, "Believe me, I'm going to be on the lookout to keep them from getting into the palm trees or into the capitol where they would ruin things by boring."

Source: Honolulu star-bulletin. (Honolulu ,Oahu, Hawaii), November 13, 1915, page 8



Says last Friday's Portland Journal: "Residents of the district surrounded by Seventh, Columbia, Tenth and Clifton streets are firmly of the belief that the rain of last night did not consist altogether of water, for the pavement in that section this morning was covered with millions of slippery, slimy angle worms. Early in the day pedestrians experienced considerable difficulty negotiating the sidewalks on Park street. There are, in fact, many who are willing to testify that they saw the worms falling, mingled with the large drops of rain of the early morning fall...

Source: The Hood River glacier. (Hood River, Oregon), February 15, 1912, page 7)


ON the night of April 13th, at Alliance, Ohio, during a severe rain storm, millions of angle worms fell, making it nearly impossible for people to traverse the sidewalks of that city. Now, the superstitious will have strange stories to tell. It furnishes good grounds for an awakening among a certain class of people, and may be the means of leading many from the error of their ways.

Source: The Princeton Union. (Princeton, Minnesota), 18 April 1895, page 4

Bushels of fish worms fell Wednesday night. The pavements were strewn with them. The fall of rain was nearly as great as worms.

Source: Chariton Courier (Keytesville, Chariton County, Missouri.), 30 Jan. 1914, page 5 

A perfect shower of small, white worms fell late one evening at the Malmo railway station. Their numbers were so great that they covered the depot platform and the ground like a layer of snow. The phenomenon was limited to a small area.

Source: Warren Sheaf (Warren, Marshall County, Minnesota.), 11 July 1901, page 7 

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

A Shower of Worms.

During the rain-storm on April 23, there wee showered down on and about the premises of Mrs. McDonald, near the corner of E and Washington streets, million of small worms of the ordinary angle-worm Species. These worms were from three to four inches Ii length and quote slender. They came down alive and wriggling. The shower of worms only covered an area of about fifty yards square, but within this place they covered everything. There can ho no doubt about these worms coming down from the heavens, as the balconies were so thickly strewn with them that they could be scraped up in handfuls. Buckets, tubs and pans placed udder the roofs of houses  to catch the rain-water also caught great numbers of the worms. The side walks in the neighbourhood were covered with them. The worms present the same appearance as the common angle-worm, except that are redder in color and are marked from end to end with mall rings about one-sixteenth of an inch apart. A great number of persons visited the locality and examined and speculated upon the vermicular shower. The prevailing opinion appeared to be that the worms had been sucked up by a whirlwind from some swamp or pond and carried in the clouds to be finally deposited where they were found. Though fact that though worms seemed to be more at home in water than on the ground give some foundation for this theory. It is now said that a similar shower of worms fell in the western part of the city some years ago. From the Virginia (Nev.) Enterprlse.

Source: The Rutland Daily Globe (Rutland, Vermont), 03 May 1876, front page

During a fall of snow at Lancaster recently, accompanied by a violent wind, storm, great quantities of worms fell, being probably brought from some distant point by the wind. Some of the worms were the ordinary cut-worm, but there was a specimen unknown, a long, many-footed insect, with a horned head. A strange feature was the fact that the worms should, at this season of the year, exhibit so much life as did these remarkable visitors. The snow is some places was full of the worms, and ignorant people were not a little worried over this strange visitation.

Source: Pittsburg Dispatch (Pittsburg, Pennsylvania), 05 March 1892, page 4

Snow Worms.

A puzzling phenomenon has been noticed frequently in some parts of Valley Bend District, Randolph County, Va., this winter. The crust of the snow has been covered two or three times with worms, resembling the ordinary cutworms. Where they come from, unless they fall with the snow, is inexplicable. The snow is two feet deep, and the crust is too strong for them to have come up out of the ground. A square foot of snow can scarcely be found some days without a dozen of these worms on it.

Source: Scientific American, February 21, 1891, page 116


East St. Louis Visited by Strange Phenomenon.

East St. Louis was visited by a shower of wire-worms during the rain of yesterday morning, says the St. Louis Republican. The wire-worms were of a small size, about 2 1/2 to 3 inches in length and very thin. Their heads were covered with a whitish substance. They died a few hours after the rain stopped. Several of them were caught and placed in alcohol to preserve  them. Charles Merker, a druggist at Bader's drug store was one of the first to discover the peculiar worm. He had placed a shallow vessel in the rain to gauge the amount of rain fall. When he looked at the vessel for the purpose of gauging it, he was surprised to see it full of small wriggling objects. The objects were just about the thickness of hairs, which they resembled to a consider able degree. Merker called William Spannagle, a fellow-druggist, and they examined the worms through a microscope and discovered them to be wire-worms. It seems that the worms fell in other portions of the city also. People mistook them for thread fiber. The people who saw them were completely mystified. They can d not account for their presence on the ground. The wire-worm is known to live in pools and shallow ponds. It is supposed that ponds dried up in the extreme dry spell just passed and that the worms were picked up by the high winds that prevailed Sunday and were kept in the air and clouds until they were rained down upon the heads of East St. Loulsans yesterday. Not one of the worms could be found several hours after the rain ceased. All of them had found small holes, into which they crawled out of sight.

Source: The Saint Paul Globe (St. Paul, Minnessota), 16 Nov. 1897, page 6

Sees Shower Worms

Bergen Point, N. J. - During a storm a shower of sand worms fell upon the deck of the ferryboat Bayonne City, Capt. William Duffy swears it's true.

Source: Dakota farmers' Leader (Canton, South Dakota), 29 March 1912, page 3


LONDON, July 10. (NANA)- Worms rained on Brentford Gardens, London, England, during a recent thunder storm. Thousands of them were found afterwards. The worms were from four to six incher, long and almost transparent. Instead of keeping to the soil, they immediately invaded surrounding shrubs and the leaves of small plants.

Source: Spokane Daily Chronicle - Jul 10, 1931, page25

Raining Worms in Jennings

Like she's done so many times, Jennings Police Department employee Eleanor Beal crosses the street to go to work -- but Sunday afternoon was different. "All of the sudden things started falling from the sky," recalled Beal.   It wasn't a bird. It wasn't plane. It was worms... Large tangled clumps falling on her and another female officer. "When I saw that they were crawling... I said it's worms get out of the way," said Beal. "I ran as fast as I could thinking I could get to shelter." Word that it was raining worms was so far fetched that Communications Officer Martha Amie had to see it to believe it. "And it was all over the street. And they had a few together, but they had a few globs. I looked in the sky, there was no clouds, we weren't under the poles and we weren't under the trees and I couldn't believe it! I just ran back inside because I didn't want any more to fall on my head," said Amie. As we all know, earthworms live in the dirt. They don't have wings. So just how did those slimy creatures become airborne?  "I don't know where this could have possibly came from," said Amie. "I would think it's some kind of bird that regurgitated the worms. I don't understand how they were still alive," said Beal....

Source: KPLC7 local news

The following are events for which I did not find the original article:

  • London Times, April 14, 1837: "That, in the parish of Bramford Speke, Devonshire, a large number of black worms, about three-quarters of an inch in length, had fallen in a snow storm.

  • In Timb's Year Book, 1877-26, it is said that, in the winter of 1876, at Christiania, Norway, worms were found crawling upon the ground. The occurrence is considered a great mystery, because the worms could not have come up from the ground, inasmuch as the ground was frozen at the time, and because they were reported from other places, also, in Norway."

  • "Large number of worms found in a snowstorm, upon the surface of snow about four inches thick, near Sangerfield, N. Y., Nov. 18, 1850"

The following is not a shower of worms, but a mysterious appearance of clumps of worms, neatly placed in one straight line in the middle of a road. This happened in Eisenhower State Park in Denison, Texas, after heavy rains, on May 29, 2015. Strangely, the worms stayed for two days before heading back into the soil and leaving behind their manure. Nobody had an explanation. So I go with aliens dumping them, with a sense of humor. In nature worms do not huddle together like that, so they must have come from someone who is breeding them in closed spaces. Also, worms will immediately dig into the soil to avoid being eaten by birds and to avoid to dry out in the open air. With some fish and frogs showers we also find that these have been dropped in a straight line.

 "The deluge that flooded parts of Texas over the past week created a strange sight on a patch of the state’s highways: clumps of worms along the center line. Thousands of worms, initially mistaken for discarded spaghetti, were found in Eisenhower State Park in Denison, Texas. An ABC News article explained, “The piles in the middle of Eisenhower State Park were actually worms, Park Superintendent Ben Herman told ABC News. Rangers were checking the back roads of the park in Denison, Texas, found on May 29 when they found the piles lined up in a near-perfect straight line. “We’re still puzzled why they decided to line up in the middle of the road,” Herman said. “Even our biologist doesn’t know why they’re spaced so well and in the line.” (Source: ABC News and YouTube Video))

Denison worms

Denison worms