Fruit and vegetable rains
This designation was used to designate waves which deposited bodies on the ground resembling grains of wheat. Some thought they identified them in the last century: they were tubers of the buttercup, or seeds of melampyre, speedwells or other plants, which were lifted and carried by the wind. Many testimonies, however, evoke a rain of pure wheat which fell in March 1556 on the city of Klagenfurt (Austria): this rain was “so abundant, that the inhabitants could be supplied with it to live a certain time.” In 1886, in England, hailstones also contained grains of wheat.
This type of downpour would not, however, be as rare as one can imagine. In May 1803, following a very violent thunderstorm, there fell a rain of seeds, similar to peas, in the province of Leon (Spain): nine to ten quintals of these seeds, very white, hard and almost were collected. It was supposed that these seeds, which no botanist recognized the species and which would not exist on our hemisphere, could have been transported by a waterspout from a very distant country.
In February 1979, during a snowstorm, we heard a noise of backfiring: we then discovered seeds, which turned out to be cress and mustard seeds. “The most singular thing is that the watercress seeds were all wrapped in a jelly. When we plunged our hand into these seeds to catch them, they stuck to the fingers without us being able to get rid of them. The phenomenon reproduced five to six times in the day and it was falling more and more seeds each time. What is very strange is that when the seeds brought from each garden stick to the shoes and we walk on it, they all had very strong mustard and watercress scent. ”
A few days later, new rain this time consisting of peas, corn, beans and beans; more than four kilos of seeds were thus harvested in twenty-five showers. No explanation was found for the two phenomena.
According to the Symons Monthly Meteorological Magazine, in 1867 a shower of “fossil” hazelnuts occurred in Dublin: it was so violent “that the police, despite being provided with helmets of exceptional resistance, were forced to seek shelter to protect themselves of this aerial shooting. ”
In Bristol, in March 1977, a couple on the street received a real shower of hazelnuts (about four hundred). Very strange fact, “not only were there no hazelnuts elsewhere on the street, but the hazelnuts should not have been in the season before September or October when we were in March! ” (FAWC). In addition, the hazelnuts, which turned out to be ripe and very good, had fallen from a blue sky where there was only one cloud.
The phenomenon was first reported in the United States in 1877, reported by the New York Times on December 26: “Dr JL Smith, of Silverston, South Carolina, was sitting in front of his tent when suddenly something fell on the ground and crawled towards him. On examination, it appeared that the object in question was an alligator. The next moment fell in the same way. These appearances aroused the doctor’s curiosity so much that he looked around to see if there were any others. He thus found six others within a radius of 200 meters. The animals were all very alive and were about 30 centimetres. The place where they are fallen is on a vast sandy stretch near the Savannah River. ”
While an alligator fell from the sky in 1893 at Charleston, a similar event occurred in May 1934: a US naval balloon, returning from the Caribbean, flew over California “when the commander, Robert Davis, heard muffled noises at the “Above his head. Intrigued, he went up to the rigging to examine one of the ballast bags. The blows getting stronger and stronger, so he opened a ballast bag and discovered an alligator of more than 70 centimetres. the crew had already been flying for several days and therefore no one had any idea of the animal’s sudden provenance, without anyone, moreover, noticing its presence earlier. on the ball from the start and hadn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary. There was only one logical explanation, but not at all sensible in reality: the alligator had fallen from the sky. ”
Thirty years later, in 1960, residents of Long Beach in California heard a heavy noise in their garden, followed by a terrible growl: they discovered in amazement an alligator of almost two meters.
In 1587, in Germany, around the castle of Withiz, “a cloud of ducks, falling like rain, fell on a nearby pond. On this battlefield, they fought fiercely, and the next morning the peasants picked up by the hundreds those who had died in the struggle. ” In 1933, frozen ducks crashed in Worcester, Massachusetts (England).
There is also talk of the fall of an ice-covered turtle in Mississippi in 1894, and rain of leeches, still in the United States, before the first half of the 19th century.
Rain of Crabs and Periwinkles
In 1829, in Reigate (England), some crabs were found after a violent storm. In May 1881, still in England and on the occasion of a storm which broke out near Worcester, the same facts were reported and “in one of these large shells collected, there was a hermit crab living.”