If that video of the rain of spiders isn”t enough to send you fleeing for shelter, then consider this: spiders are one of the nicer things you can find falling from the sky. At least you know what they are, right? Across the globe, bizarre things have fallen from the sky, often with little or no explanation, leaving people baffled–and often messy.
Here are ten things that have actually tried their hand at being weather. Check them out and start carrying an umbrella everywhere.
I can hear the arachnophobes shrieking now. But it”s true. Spiders have rained down on Brazil and Argentina on two separate occasions (at least). They”ve been caught on camera. The main hypothesis for animal rain (and we”ll get into the other animals later) is that they”re swept up by a tornado and then dumped somewhere else. In the case of spiders, though, a population may become unmoored when a strong wind blows through their webs, resulting in this kind of crawly weather.
2. Frogs and Toads
Frogs might be cuter than spiders, but falling from the sky, they probably cause more property damage. Many reports of airborne amphibians have come from all over the world and, once again, storms are usually the prime suspects. This phenomenon is so common, that it actually has a name: a toad fall. Besides toad falls, there have also been reports of fish falls and bird falls.
In March of 2001, students playing soccer at the Galashiels Academy in the UK were interrupted by rain–a rain of earthworms. The clear day ruled out weird weather as the cause, and being far away from buildings and other students, it was not likely a practical joke. In 2007, Eleanor Beal of Jennings, LA, was caught in a worm-storm on her way to work.
Several people across Scotland reported, and photographed, the mysterious appearance of a whitish jelly-like substance that seemed to have fallen from the sky. Theories include land-based materials such as frog spawn and slime mold, pieces of jellyfish caught up in a waterspout and deposited on land, and the legendary “star jelly,” said to be a byproduct of meteorites.
5. Nondairy Creamer
In the late 1960s, the South Carolina-based Borden company created a nondairy creamer with a corn syrup base. All was going well, except for when the plant”s exhaust vents would clog. The result was that the creamer, in powder form, would spew into the air and rain down on the homes and cars of the town of Chester. Mixing with atmospheric moisture, it became a sticky, if harmless, mess. The issue wasn”t fully resolved until 1991, when Borden was forced to pay a $4,000 fine. Which doesn”t seem so bad after 22 years of dusting the town in creamer.
If something other than water has to fall from the sky, it might as well be money. In 2007, this happened in Germany, when a young motorist stopped abruptly on seeing Euro notes fluttering around in the air. She collected quite a bit, but, being an honest sort, she turned it over to the police. Which is something we would all totally do, right? Right. Weirder still was the time in 1940, when a cache of 16th-century coins hailed down over Gorky, Russia. It seems an undiscovered trove of coins was exposed via erosion, and then scooped up by a tornado.
This one is almost as good as money raining from the sky, depending on where it lands. September of 1857 saw not one but two nights of sugar crystals raining down over Lake County in northern California. The local ladies collected the crystals and used them to make syrup, but the origins of the sweet storm were never determined.
8. Golf Balls
A rainstorm in Florida in 1969 started off normally, but things got weird when golf balls started pelting the streets of Punta Gorda. The amount was ranked in the dozens by the St. Petersburg Times, and was never explained, although, given the area”s location, a storm is the best guess.
On March 9, 1876, a “shower of meat” rained down on the home of Allen Crouch, who lived near Louisville, KY. Allen”s wife witnessed the shower while in the garden, and noted that the sky was clear and that the pieces of meat were about the size of large snowflakes. In the interest of uncovering the truth, two very-not-squeamish men volunteered to do a taste test. Their guess was mutton. Not gross enough for you? Later speculation suggests that the meat rain may have been the result of a vulture vomiting.
10. “Blue Ice”
“Blue ice” is probably the most euphamistic term on the planet. All over the world, chunks of blue- or green-colored ice have fallen from the skies. They can cause major damage, such as the one that ripped through an elderly California couple”s roof in 2006. Can you guess what it is yet? Here”s a clue: you”re better off with the spiders. Blue ice is a term for what happens when an airplane”s sewage tank leaks in midair. The liquid from the toilets, blue due to the addition of a disinfectant, freezes at the high altitude, then plummets towards the earth. So “blue ice” is a pretty way of saying “frozen chunk of human waste.” I hope the person in this picture washes their hands thoroughly.
So, if that”s not enough to consider becoming a cave-dweller, I”m not sure what is.