Usually called “wonderful rains”, rains made up of objects, plants and even animals! These prodigious facts, received with the greatest reserve by scientists, have been reported since Antiquity until recent years.
In his book The Book of the Damned (1919), Charles Fort, American journalist, devoted himself to these unexplained phenomena of rain of gelatinous substance, mud, vegetable matter, dead leaves – which fell for half an hour during Clairvaux in 1794 and for ten minutes in Indre-et-Loire, at Autrèche, in April 1869 -, lavender – at Oudon, in Loire-Atlantique, in 1903 -, soda ash, nitric acid, limestone, salt, coke, ashes, snakes, ants, worms and cannonballs, among others.
Violent rain of fish in Singapour, in February 1861 (Photo credits: dark-stories.com
Charles Berlitz, meanwhile, mentioned in his book Strange Phenomena of the World, floods of birds and even rare cuts of meat!
Some of these phenomena have however found a perfectly rational explanation. This is particularly the case of the sulfur rain, attested from the earliest times and in the Middle Ages: at the end of the 17th century, we understood that the yellow colour of this rain came from the fact that it was charged with pollen flowers of certain trees, especially pines and fir trees. What was called rain of wool simply meant a down-filled with the down produced by the seeds of poplars and certain willows. The rains of milk, like that which fell around Rome in 234 BCE and that of 109 which preceded the fire of Rome, “were explained by the addition of Cretaceous materials pushed into the air by whirlpools and forming then with the rain milky water. ”
In the 19th century, specialists explained the so-called very impressive rains of blood, the red colour of which is due to the earth, to dust of minerals or other matter swept by the winds, or to butterflies which spread drops. of a red juice. Blood rains fell in Lisbon in 1551 and in Freiberg (Germany) three years later. To this was also added a rain of human flesh, which was finally explained by a fall of volcanic stones resembling dry flesh.
The rain of “manna” is miraculous: in 371, it fell in Artois, while the land was sterile, a very oily rain with a sheath containing wool: “It fattened up so much earth that it was called manna, like that which God nourishes his people in the desert. ” This relic is also kept in the Arras church where every year a mass celebrates this wonder.
A rain of crosses fell in 367 the day when Julian the Apostate, “wishing to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem, saw his impious efforts confounded by divine wrath. These crosses, after having crisscrossed the air, came to fix themselves on the clothes of the spectators. ” Crosses also fell from the sky in Calabria around 746, then in Germany in 1503, where they were “the colour of a bread made of pure flour.”
According to a belief of the Middle Ages, rains of weapons occurred at night with the approach of the great wars. Among these weapons were halberds, swords, very common, and more rarely axes.
Patrice Walker, a Scottish columnist, testified as follows: “During the months of June and July in the vicinity of Crossford Boat, two minutes below Lanarck, and particularly in Clyde, a large number of people gathered for several evenings. There was a rain of caps, hats, rifles and sabres, which covered the trees and the ground; companies of armed men, walking in good order on the water’s edge; companies meeting companies, crossing each other, then falling to the ground and disappearing. […] I went there three consecutive evenings and I noticed that there were two-thirds of the spectators who saw this miracle, and a third who Although I could not see anything, there was such fear and trembling among those who saw that even those who did not see could see it. […] Those who saw this wonder, when they were on a trip, saw a hat and a sabre always fall on the way. ”
At the time of the Turkish invasion, it fell in Germany, like a harbinger, small turbans, cute ornaments. The Battle of Lepanto, in 1571, which “delivered Christianity from the Muslim armies, thus put an end to the turban rains.”
A rain of money!
In 197 CE, a quicksilver rain fell in Rome on the forum of Augustus. The Greek historian Dion Cassius collected drops and “used it to rub a piece of copper and give it the appearance of pure silver, which is kept intact for three whole days.” The same phenomenon happened again during the reign of Aurélien in the 3rd century.
Rain of ice and icebergs
In the spring of 1968, a German carpenter working on a roof was killed by an ice candle two meters long. An ice cube also ran aground on a car in a London suburb in March 1974, while in Tumberville, Virginia (United States), in March 1976, a block of ice passed through the roof of a house. One of the police officers responsible for recovering this curious piece said: “On examining the ice, I found it milky white, cold and compressible in the hand.” Physicists, meanwhile, concluded that it looked like ordinary water coming out of the tap.
The theory developed by astronomers according to which the ice could come from a plane was not unanimous: on the one hand, we had heard no plane shortly before the fall, on the other hand, we had found in some fragments pieces of gravel ice. Meteorologists themselves did not believe this thesis.
On the other hand, the fall of a block of dark blue ice, weighing more than four kilos, and which crashed on a house in Shenandoah (Pennsylvania) in 1970, was undoubtedly formed of a liquid fallen from a plane.
It should also be noted that falling blocks of ice occurred well before the invention of the aircraft. Thus in 1847, in Ord in Scotland, there was one almost six meters in circumference. In July 1853, a “flying” iceberg fell on the city of Rouen.
In January 1860, a ship approaching the Cape of Good Hope experienced a violent gust: “The wind suddenly turned from east to north. During the gust, there were three flashes of bright light, one very close to the boat, and at the same time, an ice shower fell for three minutes. It was not hailed, but rather solid pieces of ice, irregular in shape and of different dimensions, going up to the half the size of a brick. ”