Texas Fish Rain Is a Potentially Recurring ‘Weather’ Phenomenon

No. It’s not a scene from a children’s book or a biblical plague. Fish rain is a real thing, and it recently happened in Texas. Officials from the East Texas city Texarkana recently shared an alert about the rare weather phenomenon. In it, they warned people that fish might fall from the sky. Yes, animal rain had struck.

A giant fish gaping at a woman during a storm for the fish rain animal rain article

The city shared:

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.

Technically, it’s not “fish rain,” but “animal rain.” Because any small creature can get caught up in the storm… And then end up falling on the head of an unexpected bystander. But regardless of the proper term, people have spotted this phenomenon over time.

An article from the Library of Congress further explains the rare event. Of course, the frogs and animals themselves don’t actually become part of the weather. However, it takes certain weather conditions to create fish or frog rain. The article notes:

Like a tornado, a mature waterspout consists of a low-pressure central vortex surrounded by a rotating funnel of updrafts. The vortex at the center of these storms is strong enough to “suck up” surrounding air, water, and small objects like a vacuum. These accumulated objects are deposited back to earth as “rain” when the waterspout loses its energy.
A waterspout over the ocean
Wikimedia Commons

While the waterspout sucks up water, it also sucks up anything in its path. Making it reasonable that this weather condition could also suck up fish, frogs, or anything else small in its way. Only to “rain them” out again when the spout loses power.

Alternatively, researchers theorize powerful updrafts could also create this kind of animal rain. The Library of Congress notes, “An updraft is a wind current caused by warm air from high-pressure areas near the earth rising into cooler, low-pressure areas in the atmosphere.”

 Fish on the ground potentially from fish rain or animal rain
The City of Texarkana, Texas

Over the years, several different reports of such animal rains have cropped up, including frog rain, fish rain, and more. However, scientists still don’t entirely agree on whether these animal rains actually recure. Some believe the reports equate to nothing more than wishful thinking and attribution bias by witnesses.

The said, according to NBC News, the locals reported, “It was raining real hard, and a fish hit the ground… Fish were dropping, here and everywhere.” Make of that what you will.

Top Stories
More by Rotem Rusak
Trending Topics