Luckily for us, the phrase “raining cats and dogs” didn’t originate after a downpour of felines and canines. The phrase actually arose because dead animals would wash up in the streets after a massive storm and give the impression that it had rained the animals.
If we did create phrases connected to what has fallen from the sky, we might be saying it’s “raining frozen airplane pee” or maybe it’s “raining blood and hay” all of which have plunged to Earth at one time or another.
If you find those difficult to imagine, try wrapping your brain around some of the unusual items on this list.
10. Star Jelly
A strange jelly-like substance landed on the ground in Scotland in 2009. Scientific analysis proved the material was the undigested reproductive systems of frogs.
The amphibian innards fell from the sky when birds, who had eaten the local frogs, disgorged the unwanted morsels, sending them spiraling to Earth.
Not as exciting as real alien star jelly, but way up there on the gross scale.
In 2010, hundreds of spangled perch fell on the remote Austrailian town of Lajamanu. The fish were all flapping when they hit the ground, meaning they had flown through the air while they were still alive.
Meteorologists said it is not unusual for a tornado to suck up water, and the fish living in it, depositing its load on a town located miles away.
8. A Shark
In October 2012, a two-foot long leopard shark landed on the 12th tee of a golf course in California.
The course marshal found the beast and drove it back to the clubhouse in the back of a golf cart. When it was noticed that the shark was still alive, golfers put it in some water, and an employee drove 5 miles to drop the shark back in the ocean.
From the puncture wounds on its back, it was thought a large predatory bird had dropped the shark.
Read on because here are even more animals to come.
Money falling from the sky may seem like a pipe dream, but this happened in 1975 over Chicago, Illinois.
Dollar bills rained down on the population and the finally tally of notes people owned up to collecting came to $588. Today there is still no credible explanation for this event.
6. A Cow
In 1975, the crew of a Japanese fishing vessel was arrested and imprisoned when they claimed a cow had fallen from the sky and sunk their boat.
They were released two weeks after a Russian airman admitted one of his aircrew had bought a cow onboard their plane. The cow panicked, and to save the airplane the Russians dropped to a lower altitude and threw the cow out of the plane.
The cow, in this case, ended up at the bottom of the ocean, unlike the meat at number 2.
A soccer class in the UK was interrupted when a shower of worms began to fall over a one-hundred-square-foot area.
Kids scrambled for cover while their teacher gathered up some worms as evidence. No apparent reason has ever been found, although the school science teachers said it might have been a “freaky weather thing.”
There are more “helpful scientists” further down this list.
4. Coffee Creamer
When you think about strange things falling from the heavens, non-dairy creamer is probably not very high on your list of possibilities.
In 1969, a plant that produced Cremora had a problem with its venting system. This caused leaks of non-dairy creamer powder into the air which mixed with rain and caused a downpour of a sticky, milky goo, covering the local homes.
3. Golf Balls
Punta Gorda is on Florida’s Gulf coast and home to many golf courses. On the morning of September 1st, 1969, a resident woke up to discover it was raining golf balls.
According to meteorologists, a passing tornado consumed a ball-filled pond and then rained the pond and balls down on the town.
In 1876, chunks of meat, roughly two to four inches square, fell in the back yard of a man in Olympia Springs, Kentucky. The brave souls who tried the meat said it tasted like mutton, but Scientific American reported it was lung tissue from either a horse or a human baby.
It was most likely caused by buzzards who had eaten a dead horse. Once one buzzard vomits they all join in, so the men who ate the meat actually ate buzzard barf. Yum.
The ultimate in horror movie fodder, there have been multiple instances of spider rain.
The first to be caught on camera was in Argentina when Christian Gaona and her friends realized the spiders surrounding them were falling from the sky. Scientists suspect the airborne arachnids were swept up in a wind storm and floated down slowly on their webs.
The reasons why the scientists think this makes it OK are unclear.
There you have it, proof if it was ever needed that “pennies from heaven” isn’t just a phrase but a very real possibility.
It is all very well checking the weather forecast before you leave home, but they are not going to prepare you for everything that might fall from the skies. The best you can do to protect yourself is take your umbrella with you every time you go out and hope that what rains down on you can be deflected by a thin layer of nylon.
Oh, and don’t stick your tongue out to taste the rain, you may get more than you bargained for.