Did It Actually Rain Fish In Telangana? Can There Be Something Like 'Fish Rain'?

by Karan Kamble - Jul 16, 2022 08:00 AM +05:30 IST
Did It Actually Rain Fish In Telangana? Can There Be Something Like 'Fish Rain'? Fish rain does happen.
  • Does it really 'rain' animals? Short answer, it does. Long answer, read on.

It wasn't raining men, as in the 1983 Grammy-nominated song, or "cats and dogs," as that tired idiom goes. This one city-district in Telangana recently saw the English expression turn to reality, with a surprise switch of the creature in question in an unusual occurrence.

A video has emerged from Jagtial city of Telangana, where locals are seen looking at helpless fish wriggling about, not in water but on the road, in the aftermath of heavy rains in the state.

ABP News journalist Ashish shared a video of the odd occurrence, said to have happened in Jagtial this past weekend (9-10 July), on Twitter.

But can it really 'rain animals'?

The Met Office UK confirmed to the United Kingdom-based science website IFLScience that “It’s a very rare phenomenon, but you can very occasionally get showers of rain that carry with them small fish or frogs.”

The Library of Congress (LoC), in response to the question ‘Can it rain frogs, fish, and other objects?’, said: “There have been reports of raining frogs and fish dating back to ancient civilization. Of course, it doesn’t “rain” frogs or fish in the sense that it rains water – no one has ever seen frogs or fish vaporize into the air before a rainfall. However, strong winds, such as those in a tornado or hurricane, are powerful enough to lift animals, people, trees, and houses. It is possible that they could suck up a school of fish or frogs and “rain” them elsewhere.”

Tornadic water spouts (tornadoes over open waters) are the most common explanation for animal rainfalls. However, “any unusually powerful updraft could lift small organisms or organic material into the sky during a storm,” says another theory, described in the LoC Science Reference Section.

Pop culture gets creative with animal rain depictions once in a while. There’s a memorable scene from the Paul Thomas Anderson directorial Magnolia (1999), where frog rain is shown rather dramatically.

Similarly, in episode six of season one of the TV series Fargo, fish rains down heavily on a car driving through a snowed out street, claiming the lives of the two inside the car.

As for non-fictional animal rains, they have been documented in Serbia (frogs, 2005), Japan (tadpoles, 2009), Australia (fish, 2010) — these but make up a tiny fraction of actual reported events.

“Residents of Yoro in Honduras experience fish rain at least once or twice a year,” this Times of India report says.

More recently, fish rained in Bhadohi district of Uttar Pradesh in October 2021. “Around hundreds of small fishes are reported to have fallen from the sky during the rain in Bhadohi,” a News18 report said.

Then, a couple of months later, at the end of December, a rain of fish was reported in Texarkana, east Texas. The city administration took to Facebook to write: “2021 is pulling out all the tricks… including raining fish in Texarkana today. 🌧🐟 And no, this isn’t a joke.”

Still, surely nothing could have prepared the locals of Telangana for a rain of fish this past weekend — not even the heavy spells forecast repeatedly by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The southwest monsoon for the year advanced into Telangana mid-July. Ever since, Telangana has been a regular feature of the IMD’s daily updates forecasting isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall in various areas.

Heavy rains especially lashed the state in the days leading up to 10 July. It led to several rounds of evacuation of people from the banks of a furious Godavari River. Holidays were declared for educational institutions from 11 July until 16 July. Relief measures were immediately put in place.

Over 20,000 people are said to have been shifted to relief camps at different places in Telangana. A journalist and two members of a rescue team are among the more than 10 persons dead on account of rain-related incidents like wall collapses, slipping away into floods, and electrocution.

The good news is that rainfall intensity is likely to reduce over Telangana from today (15 July), as per the IMD.

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