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When Nature Goes Nuts

Incredible yet true accounts of impossible weather!


NATURE IS A humbling force. Especially in the form of great tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes. Nature can be ruthless, awesome and downright terrifying.

In all its wondrous, complicated splendor, nature can also be enigmatic, creating effects and events that are puzzling and sometimes humorous. Consider these examples of nature gone nuts:

Ridiculous Rains

There are hundreds upon hundreds of documented cases of strange rains, including rains of frogs and toads, fish, tadpoles, grain, nuts and berries, ice and other weird substances. Some of these weird rains are quite rare:

  • In 1877, Memphis, Tennessee experienced a rain of snakes that measured in length from between 12 and 18 inches.
  • On September 4, 1886, three separate showers of polished stones fell on Charleston, South Carolina.
  • In 1893, a yellow-tinged cloud passing over Paderborn, Germany released a shower of living pond mussels.
  • In 1969, hundreds of seriously injured ducks of different species fell from the sky in St. Mary's City, Maryland. They suffered broken bones and hemorrhages, which they seem to have received while flying. But no one can say how.
  • And to prove that strange rains can be more than dangerous, in 1951, a carpenter was working on a roof in Düsseldrof, Germany when he was impaled by a six-foot-long icicle that fell from the heavens.

For more stories, see the article "Weird, Weird Rain"

Crazy Clouds and Fog

Unusual-looking clouds were sometimes responsible for the kinds of ridiculous rains described above. And there have also been accounts of clouds and banks of fog that had other weird properties or even behavior:

  • In 1758, a fog of "strange and extraordinary appearance" was witnessed by several Colonials in Connecticut. They said it arrived in thick bodies that would "break" when it struck buildings. Odder still, it emitted such heat that they found it difficult to breathe near it!
  • Yes, heavy clouds form and meteorites occasionally strike the Earth. But in 1847 over Forest Hill, Arkansas, the two occurred together in a very strange fashion. Witnesses said a turbulent blanket of clouds "like a solid black fleece" quite suddenly covered the sky. But it looked as if it were lit from above by a red light. Then there was an explosive noise as a meteor tore through the clouds and smashed into the earth, creating an eight-foot-deep crater. In less than 20 minutes, the dark clouds were gone.
  • In 1928, sailors aboard the H.M.S. Herald in the South China Sea saw a small white cloud sucking the rain water from a heavy dark cloud via a funnel-shaped waterspout.

For even weirder stories, see the article "Clouds of Suspicion"

In her book Timestorms, author Jenny Randle documents dozens of cases in which strange glowing mists and fog have been responsible for unexplained instances of apparent time travel and teleportation. You can read more about those in the article "Time Storms in the Matrix."

Next page > Ball Lightning and Wacky Whirlwinds

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