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It's raining fish! It's normal

January 15, 2012 3:08pm

The story on "fish falling from the sky" in Agusan del Sur was generally met with disbelief across social networking sites. Some Facebook users, however, offered possible explanations – ranging from logical to supernatural.

Some said the fish might have fallen from a passing aircraft. Yet some believed the incident was a sign that the world is coming to an end.

But fish falling from the sky is not supernatural nor is it doomsday's beckoning. It actually has a name: Lluvia de Peces.

Residents of Loreto town in Agusan del Sur experienced this phenomenon Friday morning when dozens of 3-inch-long mudfish rained on them. PAGASA-Butuan Chief Engr. Lolit Binalay told Bombo Radyo a similar incident had happened in Lake Mainit in Agusan del Norte a few years back.

The same thing happened to a village in Powys, Wales in 2004  and to Folsom, California in 2006, among reported others.

How does it happen? Whirlwinds over water develop into waterspouts and become a swirling force that can suck in almost anything of the water's content: fish, eels, and even frogs.

According to American scientist Nilton Renno, fish can "fly" into the sky along with the waterspout. He told Scienceline.org that "even if the waterspout stops spinning, the fish in the cloud can be carried over land, buffeted up and down and around."

Loreto residents said they were surprised by the phenomenon because the sea and the river are far from their place. But according to Renno, fish can "swim" in the clouds and reach places until the wind can no longer support its flight, and that's when they come down.

The fish are sometimes taken so high into the atmosphere that they land dead.

Seventy-two of the fish that fell on Agusan del Sur survived the "journey" and have been placed by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources personnel in an aquarium for experts to study.

The Philippines may not hear of it often as it is an uncommon phenomenon.  But 'fish rains' have been reported for centuries.

According to a BBC report, "fish are the most common thing to have rained down on you – other than rain itself, of course." People have heard of frogs, tomatoes, and lumps of coals falling from the sky in few bizarre instances.

Weather has been inclement in Agusan del Sur since the past week, marked with a downpour on Friday that BFAR believes may have triggered the formation of a waterspout.

Click here to watch a short documentary by the BBC – fish fly into the sky but "what goes up must come down." — LBG, GMA News
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