'This isn't a joke': Fish rain from sky in rare weather phenomenon

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Wed, 5 Jan 2022, 2:31PM
Texarkana locals have shared pictures of the fish they've found (left). One of the bigger fish found (right). Photos / Misty Johnston-Roberts, Williamson Cher
Texarkana locals have shared pictures of the fish they've found (left). One of the bigger fish found (right). Photos / Misty Johnston-Roberts, Williamson Cher

'This isn't a joke': Fish rain from sky in rare weather phenomenon

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Wed, 5 Jan 2022, 2:31PM

Fish have fallen from the sky in a town hours away from the ocean. Yes, you read that right. 

The City of Texarkana in Texas had to take to Facebook to explain why it was raining fish last week. 

"No, this isn't a joke," the city said. 

"Animal rain is a phenomenon that occurs when small water animals like frogs, crabs, and small fish are swept up in waterspouts or drafts that occur on the surface of the earth. 

"They are then rained down at the same time as the rain. While it's uncommon, it happens, as evidenced in several places in Texarkana today." 

The comments were flooded with residents' experiences. 

"Crazy, I literally just said it smells like fish when we left work," one wrote. 

"It was definitely something I would have not believed if I didn't see it for my own eyes!" said another. 

Some joked about how happy the neighbourhood cats would be or that they wished it had rained money instead. 

Videos showed fish laying across car parks. 

Texarkana resident Janie Tucker told CNN she found a lot of pieces of fish across her yard – mostly heads or bodies. 

"I couldn't believe it. I don't know when it happened. I've never seen it before," she said. 

Another resident, Tim Brigham, said he started picking them up in a bucket to later use for fishing bait. 

"Animal rain" is a real weather phenomenon that happens when small animals get swept up in waterspouts or updrafts, and then fall to Earth with raindrops, according to National Geographic. 

It said waterspouts form as violent storm clouds swirl above water and the clouds form a tornado-like whirlwind that dips into the ocean, lake, or pond. Waterspouts can spin up to 160km/h and can pull up small objects – like light fish. 

Updrafts, which are strong winds, may also pull animals into their swirling vortices. 

Back in 2010, residents in the Northern Territory town of Lajamanu reported that "hundreds and hundreds" of small white fish had fallen from the sky. 

- by Chantelle Francis, news.com.au