Sharks sucked into a terrifying tornado is the fictional plot of the SyFy made-for-TV movie “Sharknado.”
But real-life animal tornadoes also have been documented. As MNN points out, fish, frogs and even alligators have been reported falling from the sky.
Lucky for us, no sharknado has been seen beyond the SyFy flick, which will appear at midnight showings across the country on Friday, Aug. 2.
Fish fall from sky. In 2010, residents in the Australian outback town of Lajamanu were rained upon by hundreds of falling spangled perch.
“These fish fell in the hundreds and hundreds all over the place. The locals were running around everywhere picking them up,” Christine Balmer told the Daily Mail. She experienced the odd weather while walking home.
Meteorologists told the newspaper at the time that the cause of the flying fish was probably a tornado that sucked up river water and fish and then dumped them hundreds of miles away.
Similar incidents were reported in Folsom, Calif., on New Year’s Eve 2006, and earlier this month, fish were seen raining down in Manna, India. Waterspouts were to blame in both cases.
“A waterspout can sometimes successfully suck small objects like fish out of the water and all the way up into the cloud,” Nilton Renno, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Michigan, told Scienceline.org.
“Even if the waterspout stops spinning, the fish in the cloud can be carried over land, buffeted up and down and around with the cloud’s winds until its currents no longer keep the flying fish in the atmosphere,” Renno said. Then what once went up, must go down.
Frognado. It’s not just fish that fly: A “frognado” was reported in Serbia in 2005. Strong winds hit a town about 75 miles northwest of Belgrade and brought falling frogs.
"I saw countless frogs fall from the sky," Odzaci resident Aleksandar Ciric told News 24.com.
Climatologists said the amphibian phenomenon could be explained by "a wind resembling a tornado (that) can suck in anything light enough from the surface or shallow water.”
Ick! Watch out for falling worms. In July 2007, Jennings, La., residents reported clumps of crawling worms falling from the sky.
"When I saw that they were crawling, I said, 'It's worms! Get out of the way!'" Eleanor Beal told local station WAFB. The gross-out nightmare was attributed to a waterspout seen five miles away near Lacassine Bayou.
Shower of alligators. The most horrifying example thankfully appears to be a very rare event: alligators in a tornado. According to an 1887 story surfaced by CryptoMundo, a South Carolina man claims he was rained down on and surrounded by eight alligators from the sky.
"Dr. J.L. Smith, of Silverton Township, while opening up a new turpentine farm, noticed something fall to the ground and commence to crawl toward the tent where he was sitting. On examining the object he found it to be an alligator." The “shower of alligators” is believed to have come from a waterspout.
- Nature & Environment