From gold to fish and cows, there are some extremely strange things that have come down from above. Coming up are the strangest things that have fallen from the sky.
10. A Cow?
In 1996, the crew of Japanese trawlers were rescued in the Sea of Japan… clinging on to the wreckage of their ship. When authorities questioned them about how they had lost their boat, they were immediately imprisoned because of the ludicrous explanation that was given. They said that a cow had fallen from the sky, struck the ship, and caused it to sink.
The authority kept in prison for a few weeks until the Russian air force told the Japanese authorities of what had happened. They said that a crew of one of their cargo planes had stolen a cow from the edge of a Siberian airfield, but unable to deal with live cargo, had ejected the animal while they were 30,000 feet above the sea of Japan.
Before you start watching the skies for flying cows, though, there are questions over the validity of this story. It has been told a number of times over the past 30 years and has become somewhat of an urban legend. Still, these stories are always based on some element of truth, so it’s entirely feasible that this did actually happen at some point.
9. Golf Balls
In Florida, with its numerous golf courses, it’s not too uncommon to hear someone shouting ‘fore’, and having to watch yourself… but in 1969 something very peculiar, even for Florida, happened.
During a seemingly normal rainstorm, dozens and dozens of golf balls fell onto the town of Punta Gorda. They filled the gutters, lawns, and streets, and baffled locals as to how many could fall in such a short period of time. The town, on the western Gulf Coast, often sees severe weather, including waterspouts. The sensible explanation is when a tornado passed over a local golf course, it picked them all up from a golf course lake… to later deposit them when it dissipated.
In early 2018, as the US East Coast suffered the effects of a so-called bomb cyclone, which brought freezing temperatures and strange weather events such as the first measurable snowfall in Tallahassee for 28 years…
Floridians experienced even stranger phenomenon – frozen iguanas falling from the trees. The reptiles, accustomed to the warmer weather, are cold-blooded, so when temperatures fall too low, their bodies shut down in an attempt to survive. This led to residents finding seemingly dead and frozen iguanas strewn across the ground.
When the weather warmed up, so did the iguanas… and they came back to life – ready to climb back into the trees and do whatever it is that iguanas do.
Perhaps more frightening is a story from Charleston, South Carolina, in 1843 when, after a powerful storm, residents found a two-foot-long alligator on a street near the French Quarter.
The only way it could have got there was by being carried there by the storm- probably explaining the reports that said it had a look of wonder and bewilderment about it as it took in its new surroundings.
7. Raw Meat
Probably one of the last things you’d expect to see falling down on you is raw meat, but there have been quite a few reports of it happening. In 2012, for example, pieces of chicken fell from an otherwise clear blue sky in Virginia and hit a girl who was taking a horse-riding lesson on her head. Luckily she was wearing a helmet at the time so didn’t suffer any major injuries.
Even stranger was an event in 1876, in what has become known as the Kentucky meat shower. On a clear March morning, fresh, raw, meat… what appeared to be beef, began to fall from the sky for a few minutes. It was all shapes and sizes- some as small as flakes, and some as large as three inches in length… and once it had finished, has covered an area about 100 yards long and 50 yards wide.
There was a great debate at the time about how this could have happened… with some even suggesting there was a ring of meat around our planet, with some occasionally falling down- in the same way a meteor does.
While both of these events seem very strange, there’s a generally accepted explanation- that the meat has been picked up by birds, probably gulls, and they drop it when they have either had enough of carrying it, or encountered tricky conditions to fly in. However it happens, though, it’s most definitely not edible for humans!
6. Star Jelly
Star Jelly is a sticky substance that has been found in various places around the world- including in Scotland, the Lake District in England, and New York, Texas, and many other places… and it was even the inspiration behind the classic horror movie, ‘The Blob’. Legend has it that star jelly falls to earth during meteor showers, and is the sticky substance that keeps space rocks stuck together… but the reality is a lot more down to earth.
During an investigation for a TV show in the UK, a wildlife presenter retrieved a sample of Star Jelly and sent it to the Natural History Museum in London. Their analysis found that the substance was amphibious in origin… most likely a frog, and also contained traces of a magpie.
This has led to the conclusion that, rather than being otherworldly matter, star jelly is, in fact, the remains of a frog or frogspawn that has been dropped by a bird that was in the process of eating it.
Next time someone asks you if you’ve got milk, spare a thought for the residents of Chester, South Carolina, who got more than they bargained for in 1969. One of the local factories was owned by a company called Borden, whose main product was a non-dairy creamer called Cremora. For those who aren’t familiar with it, the powdered product is added to liquid and turns into a milk substitute.
The factory wasn’t well maintained and, in particular, it had issues with its exhaust vents. They would occasionally get blocked, and this would result in the powder being released into the air. As you can imagine, if this happened while it was raining, the town would get covered in a layer of creamer.
In 1991, the authority fined the company for the incident and others that happened in the late 60s. They had to pay $4000 for releasing Cremora beyond the plant boundaries.
4. Human Body
California citizens experience things falling from the sky more often than most others, but one of the most unfortunate examples happened to Mary Fuller, from San Diego, in 1978. She was in a parked car with her eight-month-old son one morning when a human body crashed through her windshield.
Fortunately, she and her son survived the incident with only minor cuts and bruises, but what they hadn’t realized is that they had been witness to the tragic aftermath of one of California’s worst ever aviation disasters.
Far above them in the sky, a private Cessna aircraft had collided with a Pacific Southwest Airlines flight. 144 people were killed in the collision, and one of the poor victims had been ejected from the wreckage and landed on top of the car.
Of all the objects on this list, this is the one you’d actually want to happen. There have been a number of documented incidents where money has seemingly fallen from the sky, such as in 1957 when thousands of 1000 franc notes fell down in the town of Bourges in France, and in 1975 when 588 dollars worth of notes fell to the ground in Chicago.
More recently, in 2017, pedestrians in Indianapolis found 1 dollar notes falling to the sidewalk, with the money thought to have come from a robbery gone wrong, and in late 2018, 30,000 dollars worth of banknotes was thrown from a building and fell to the baying crowds in Hong Kong as a stunt to promote a currency website.
But, if cold hard cash isn’t your thing, then how about gold? In 2018, a cargo plane was taking off from Yakutsk airport in Siberia, when the cargo hatch tore open and spilled nearly 200 gold bars into the air.
Weighing almost 3 metric tons, most of the gold bars landed onto the runway. But the plane continued for 10 miles before it could land. So, a large quantity fell to the ground that was never officially recovered.
Fish are undoubtedly the most common animal to fall from the sky… so much so that in Mexico they have a name for it- ‘Lluvia de peces’, which means ‘rain of fish’. There are countless stories of communities experiencing this phenomenon, and it happens across the world.
In 2010, the Australian town of Lajamanu experienced two days of fish rain, with hundreds of spangled perch falling- some of which were still alive!
Any explanation? A thunderstorm could possibly pick the fish up as high as 40 or 50,000 feet into the air. The cold at that height froze them until they fell again. It happened there for the 3rd time in 30 years but still, the meteorologists seem unable to predict it happening!
Then In 2012, players at a Californian golf course found an even larger fish- a leopard shark. It had puncture marks, which seemed to have been from a bird that picked it up from the nearby Pacific ocean, and amazingly it was still alive. Workers took it straight back to the beach, and it soon swam off- seemingly quite healthy.
Finally, in late 2018 a Redditor posted about a fish that they had found in their garden. Blood red, and a horrifying shape, they had no idea what type of fish it was… until someone later confirmed it as a short spined sea scorpion.
As the person who posted the image lived on a cliffside, they presumed that a bird must have caught the fish, and dropped it as it flew overhead. If you ever find one of these in your garden, stay well clear. You shouldn’t handle them without protection, as they can be very harmful.
In what is probably the worst news possible for any arachnophobes, spiders falling from the sky is actually a relatively common phenomenon. Videos from around the world in places like Brasil and Australia show the air full of black specks, each of which is an eight-legged creature looking for somewhere to land.
There are actually two ways that this can happen. The first, common in Brasil, is because of a species called parawixia bistriata. These small spiders aren’t actually falling, but weave very fine webs, anywhere they can, in order to trap prey. The web is virtually impossible to see with the naked eye, though, so gives the impression that they are falling down.
The other way spiders get up so high is because of a process called ballooning. This is how spiderlings travel to new areas. They climb to the top of tall vegetation and release a silk balloon that carries them in the wind. They can travel miles with this method, and cause havoc for those in their path… covering the grounds in webs when a swarm lands. It’s this method that has allowed spiders to travel across the world, and reach islands that would otherwise have been inaccessible to them.
Next time it’s raining, and you look up to the sky, remember that it could be more than just water falling down from the heavens. If you’re lucky, it could be something valuable, but it could just as easily be something potentially deadly, or incredibly gross.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen fall from the sky?! Let me know in the comments down below.