Unusual rains

This happens not only in fairy tales and legends. In the history of mankind, many facts are known when fish, frogs and golf balls fell from the sky …

In 2015, milky white rain covered parts of Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Precipitation stained cars, windows and people – it was not dangerous, but it became a mystery.

When the drop becomes heavy enough, it falls to the ground. Sometimes the rain is different than usual. Brian Lamb, an air quality specialist at the University of Washington, and his colleagues believe that the source of the milky rain was a storm that raised particles from a shallow lake in southern Oregon. In this lake, there was a saline solution similar in composition to milky drops.

Heraclides Lembus, Greek philosopher who lived in the second century BC wrote that in Paeonia and Dardania it rained with frogs, and there were so many frogs that houses and roads were overflowing with them.

This is not the only unusual case in history. The village of Yoro in Honduras celebrates the annual Fish Rain Festival. A small silvery fish falls from the sky at least once a year in the area. And in 2005, thousands of baby frogs hit a town in northwestern Serbia.

Even stranger occurrences from extant sources have included the fall of hay, snakes, insect larvae, seeds, nuts, and even stones. There is even a mention of a rain of golf balls in Florida, presumably related to the passage of a tornado through the playing field.

How far these objects travel depends on their shape, weight, and wind. There are documentary photos of small objects moving 200 miles, and one metal road sign flying about 50 miles. Fairy tales about a magical flying carpet come to mind.

Dust, which is usually the culprit behind colored rains, can travel even further. The yellow dust that rained on western Washington in 1998 came from the Gobi Desert. The sands of the Sahara can cross thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean. The color of the rain in such cases reflects the mineral composition of the source.

Red rains come from the dust of the Sahara, yellow rains from the Gobi desert. The sources of black rain are most often volcanoes. In 19th-century Europe, greasy, dirty rains dyed sheep black, and they originated from large industrial centers in England and Scotland. In recent history, due to the burning of oil in wells in Kuwait, black snow fell in India.

It is not always easy to determine the nature of colored rains. The mysterious red rain that periodically hits the southwest coast of India contains tiny red cells, but what is it? For scientists, it still remains a mystery.

– In the early 20th century, Charles Hoy Fort collected some 60 newspaper clippings reporting unusual rains ranging from frogs and snakes to ash and salt.

So it is not known what the next clouds will bring us. 

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