Gravure de pluie de poissons

A fish rain from 1550

Fish rains are almost a staple of fortean literature. fish falling from the sky would seem to be impossible, yet such events are reliably reported across the world. Usually the fish are all of one species, and are often still alive, especially if they have landed on grass or another soft surface. In other, rare, cases, the fish are dead and rotting.[1]


They are often explained as the result of whirlwinds, but there are problems with this idea, the most important one being that whirlwinds scatter their ctaches at random, rather than depositing them in one place, and certainly not sorting their burdens according to type. However it is not impossible, and has been witnessed on rare occasions. Dr Gudger's third volume of Annals and magazine of Natural History, published in 1929, it is reported that the crew of a boat off Mexico saw a waterspout form nearby and then break, depositing the crew with massive amounts of water - and fish.

problems with explanationsEdit

Such explanations, however, fall down when the fish are not of a locally-found species. In 1771 the friends of the meteorologist Raphael Eglini witnessed fish falling in a thunderstorm in Cottbus, Prussia (now in Germany). Eglini presumed that the fish originated nearly and that they had been sucked up by the storm, only to be informed later that fish did not belong to any known species, a discovery he described as "incredible!"[2]

See alsoEdit

Frog rains


  1. Bob Rickard and John Michell. The Rough Guide to Unexplained Phenomena. Rough Guides, 2000, pp26-7
  2. Bob Rickard and John Michell. The Rough Guide to Unexplained Phenomena. Rough Guides, 2000, pp24-5

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