Bizarre footage shows sea creatures falling from the sky during storm
Have you ever heard of the expression "It's raining cats and dogs?" I always thought that it was a bit weird. Why would anyone equate a heavy rainfall with house pets falling out of the sky? It always baffled me. But then I found out that rains of animals are actually a real and verified phenomenon. Seriously, it's true!
This weird meteorological occurrence has been reported in a number of countries throughout history. The first recorded instance dates back to the first century, when the Roman naturalist Pliny wrote about storms of frogs, fish, and other aquatic fauna he had seen. Then in 1794, French soldiers witnessed hundreds of toads falling from the sky during heavy rain at Lalain, near the French city of Lille.
Sometimes the animals manage to survive their long fall to the ground, and some accounts of these incidents describe the animals as being surprised yet healthy. In other cases, the animals are frozen to death, encased in ice, or dead before impact. In some more grisly incidents, the animals have been shredded into mincemeat, and rain down to Earth as dismembered limbs.
But this phenomenon isn't just ancient history. This week in China, stunned bystanders in a bustling urban centre were shocked when various fish species started dropping out of the air. The pictures were taken at the city coastal city of Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong Province on Wednesday, and quickly made their way onto Weibo, China's main social media site, before leaking to the internet at large.
Later on, the The Chinese Meteorological Administration, the national weather agency, confirmed that a number of fish and other sea creatures had had the misfortune of being blown onto the land by a sudden waterspout. Apparently, the wind had lifted the animals into the air when passing over the ocean's surface, before dropping them again when the winds ceased.
According to the Qingdao Meteorological Administration, the inclement weather, which was recorded on June 13, registered a 12 on the Beaufort scale, which constituted hurricane-force winds. Soon after this announcement, the term "seafood rain" started trending on Chinese social media, and a number of hoax images emerged in the wake of the storm, which showed robots and monsters posing next to the debris. The winds tore down street signs and ripped apart buildings. Locals also took pictures of the gigantic hailstones which assailed them, some of which were roughly the same size as a chicken's egg.
Back in March, a number of sea creatures were dropped on the heads of unsuspecting Britons. Sea life which included starfish, crab, mussels and lobsters, washed up on British shores in the aftermath of Storm Emma. At the time, Bex Lynam, of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust stated: "There was a 3C drop in sea temperature last week which will have caused animals to hunker down and reduce their activity levels. This makes them vulnerable to rough seas – they became dislodged by large waves and washed ashore when the rough weather kicked in. Larger animals such as dolphins are more mobile and can save themselves by swimming away when this sort of thing happens."
So next time you see storm clouds on the horizon, don't forget to take an umbrella; you never know what might land on you.