Egads, It's Raining Frogs
© Atham Z 2002-2010

Throughout history, there have been tales of raining frogs. These stories, as crazy as they may seem, are actually real events! From Biblical tales of Egyptian storms to British towns suddenly finding themselves covered with frogs falling from the sky, such events are caused when a wind storm passes over a pond or lake, picking the creatures up and dumping them elsewhere! It is unknown why the tornado or whirlwind air currents are so species selective.

The Bible describes a rain of manna and quails more than 3,000 years ago. At that time this was looked upon as a supernatural event. The rain of manna has happened often in modern times; the manna being a lichen that grows in great abundance after rainfall.

In February 1998, it rained fine sand over parts of England. People heard radio announcements telling them the phenomenon was caused by a freak storm picking up sand in the Sahara desert and blowing it thousands of miles north to Britain. The sand was followed in March by very tiny frogs falling inCroydon.

The British are getting used to weird things falling from the sky. Fish fell on London in 1984 and six large flounders, still alive, were recovered from the streets. In the same year, starfish arrived from the clouds in North Yorkshire. The inhabitants of Bristol recalled the old song, Pennies from Heaven, in 1956. A shower of pennies and halfpennies fell for over two minutes. No one knows how much money landed, but children formed happy queues at sweet shops.

More frogs fell again in Scotland in 1995. Scotland was also the scene of a huge fall of ice in the 1800's. Ice falls in the past few years have been attributed to aircraft. Richard Griffiths of Manchester University collected ice which he witnessed falling in 1973. Obtaining some large fragments, he froze them pending analysis and checked the airport for details of any aircraft flying overhead. The airport confirmed that no planes had been in the vicinity at the time of the ice fall. When analysing the ice he found that the ice was of a similar type to that in hailstones.

We have all heard the expression "it's raining cats and dogs." There are several theories about this saying. It is possible that the word cat is derived from the Greek word 'catadupe' meaning 'waterfall.' Or it could be raining 'cata doxas,' which is Latin for 'contrary to experience,' or an unusual fall of rain. In Northern mythology the cat is supposed to have great influence on the weather, and English sailors still say the cat has a gale of wind in her tail when she is unusually frisky. Witches that rode upon the storms were said to assume the form of cats; and to this day the stormy northwest wind is called the cat's nose in the Harz mountains. The dog is a sign of wind, like the wolf. Both animals were attendants of Odin, the storm-god. In old German pictures the wind is figured as the "head of a dog or wolf," from which blasts issue. The cat therefore symbolizes the down-pouring of rain, and the dog the strong gusts of wind that accompany a rainstorm; and a rain of "cats and dogs" is a heavy rain with wind.

Another theory suggests that in medieval times cats and dogs sheltered in the thatched roofs of peasant huts during storms, and a severe storm rousted these animals causing them to fall from their perches, and thus 'rain' down onto the ground. In spite of a fish fall in India in which more than ten people picked up fish weighing up to eight pounds, and many accounts of rains of ice-coated ducks, grasshoppers, fish, and frogs, there is no account of a raining of cats and dogs.

There are lists of dozens of examples of weird rain, all over the world, including alabaster, ants, ashes, beef, beetle larvae, berries, bitumen, blood, butter, charcoal, china fragments, cinders, coal, cobwebs, coins, crabs, crayfish, eels, fish, flesh, flowers, frogs, gelatinous matter, grain, ham sandwiches, hay, iron balls, jelly fish, limestone, lizards, mud, mussels, oyster shells, periwinkles, quartz, resin, salt, sand, sandalwood, seeds, silk, snails, snakes, spawn, spiders, stones, turtles,but NEVER an actual report of "cats and dogs"!


This page was created September 1, 2003 and updated 2010-02-12.