Raining more than just cats and dogs!

raining cats and dogs

It is in the very nature of nature to come across for the clueless earthlings in such assertions that seemingly defy all laws and norms of the universe. Laws such as which we consider ‘natural’ because they are derived indeed from what our understanding of nature entitles us to, that in fact is a mere minuscule grain of truth making up the entire enormous reality, and which therefore should only naturally then come across as none of a surprise should they fail to adhere to our expectations of them. But prideous humans as we are, we are needed indeed to be thrown off balance from sanity to endow upon our supposedly enlightened selves such perspectives of nature that we would never be intelligent enough- even in all our raucous claims to being the most brainy of all species on earth- to even go guessing about. And trust indeed the many a extravagant ways in which the universe conspires to wound our seething pride through such manifestation of its nature that is dramatic, confounding and surreal all at once.

Harbouring of the magnificence of such magic that only can transpire through premises as grand as the grandeur of nature is the many a silvery streaks of the rains that has us mystified and tranced every single time the droplets of water settles upon earth in all their earthy indeed aura. For forever, rains have been romanticised and explored in such facets of it that celebrate the certain curious nostalgia of it, of it being permeated with both the joys of life and the sadness of the greys. Sure, more practical considerations accrue rather such status to rains and monsoons that make it either the nourisher or the disruptor of life. Scientific connotations might vary as well, as even artificial rains have been ‘pursued’ to cater indeed to many a needs and demands of the human character. Not any less revered in their divinity, as bearing the essence of the elixir of life, and therefore exalted in symbolism as well as celebrated in the immense aesthetics of it that curiously incorporates strands of the emotional are rains that have never failed to bless indeed the immensely variable human existence across all our scouting of the fancies.

But this eternal dynamism that rains have been related to across all recurrence of them meanders also often across such trails of pouring that lends them a character far intriguing than what they reside in their utmost basic premise. In such ‘eccentric’ encounters of the rains reside therefore the power of nature, harnessed in such means that makes this essentially watered way accommodating of elements as diverse from its essence as possible. Be it puzzling ‘pour’ of the animals or eerie lashes of blood that have been surprisingly unrare occurrences throughout the worldly tides of time to rather discrete, one of a kind showers of meats or golf balls or even the coming to reality of the desire expressed in idiomatic likings as ‘raining money’, the heavens indeed have opened up time and again in rather profusion to deflect from its primary nature of raining just the waters from above.

And yet despite all their unbelievability and indeed in as unreal assertions of them as possible, these many a rains of idiosyncratic measures are as natural phenomenon as can be, though artificial determinants too plays out across the range of some of them. Animal rain perhaps is the most common encounter of such uncommonness being a meteorologically explained phenomenon of flightless animals or insects falling from the sky and not by any means as isolated experiences in different times through history. From supposed pours dating as early back to the first century AD when Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder documented storms of frogs and fish to the most recent 2021 occurrence in Texas, history has been replete with clueless animals coming tumbling from the sky to rest upon earth, indeed much to the amusing perplexment of the as clueless lesser mortals accustomed to rains being showers of a watery kind.

And yet despite all insistence of their falling from the sky, the animals that ‘rain down’ in not so rare instances as these are more likely to be powerless creatures at the mercy of nature, dragged by violent gusts of winds accompanying the rains and deporting them across areas quite some distance away from their natural habitat. More scientific hypotheses regarding the same alludes instead to tornadic waterspouts being the agents that cause such aberrations to register. But even across such rather commonplace encounters of these rains that specifically ‘bring to life’ only a particular species rainfall at a time, the enigma still holds as to what drives this exact nature and manner of their uniqueness. And while the phenomenon of animal rain tends to be not as much a surprising deviation from our understandings of the natural world at least because they are not really the once in a lifetime kind of incident that one gets to witness, there really has shaped interesting indeed legends around it. Of particular popularity is a certain annual festival of Lluvia de peces that celebrate the ‘raining’ of fishes in definite certainty across the region of Yoro in Honduras for well over a century now. Occurring as frequently as up to four times a year is this phenomenon of the lluvia de peces or rain of fish, also known as aguacero de pescado or downpour of fish that its namesake festival celebrates with a parade and a carnival coinciding with the first major rainfall in May or June. A regular since 1998 but holding allusion to a certain 19th century miracle attributed to Spanish priest Father José Manuel de Jesús Subirana is this remarkable indeed rendition of the rains in such streaks that go beyond our commonsensical decipherence of them.

Equally assertive a nature that the rains have taken upon them through their multiple pourings since times now embedded in history and dating even further back to the 8th century BC is the perceived raining of blood instead. First mentioned in Homer’s Iliad and not very sparse a phenomena since then, manifesting indeed into times as current as the 21st century have been instances of red rain not surprising in its evocative imagery of blood pouring from the heavens. Till at least the 17th century, this belief attributable to the red color of blood held ground and passed off indeed as something considered bad omen or inauspicious. The scientific consensus today though that explains this aerial phenomenon in dubious distinction rests upon the much less terrifying prospect of the spores of green microalgae Trentepohlia annulata instead finding return to the earth as rain. Alternative theories prevail as well, whether it be holding rain dust or micro organisms as responsible for inducing this redness or other naturally occurring phenomena of sunspots or aurorae downing this color of the rains upon the earth.

Of identical basis in weirdness but manifesting in even more extravagance of its wayward fall upon the earth courtesy a singular appropriation of it till date has been an 1876 occurrence referred to as the Kentucky meat shower. As some apparent chunks of red meat were what made up the rain in this exclusive indeed incident replicated though some time later in Europe, theories began to be worked out to explain this even peculiar shower of sorts. Explanations as bizarre as vultures regurgitating their meals after being startled into taking flight or more ‘natural’ ones like the meat being in fact lumps of the Nostoc cyanobacteria took root with no one consensus achieved as is the case most often in such dramatic turns effected to the contrary of the nature of what we suppose the natural world to be acting in conformity to.

Showering more bizarre blessings in not so natural means of them have been reported cases of raining in terms of golf balls and even far more endowing indeed rains of money. While the mere prospect of a golf ball striking an earthling from above sounds dangerous enough, Florida saw the ‘play’ of what has been reported as “dozens and dozens and dozens” of golf balls as they tumbled upon the the town of Punta Gorda one not so fine day in 1969. The truly one of its kind happening though was attributed to the ‘common’ still agent of water spouts working their might across a substantial number of golf courses to manifest the not so life bearing assertion of what the rains are partially worshipped in. The more coveted flow of the cash while might not be so isolated an encounter in itself but even in its non singular reiteration is less credible a rain in essence, even when diverting indeed from the essentially watery tearing up by the skies. In countable such occurrences of them, money rain alludes more to a sudden downpour of just the cash sans any assertion of the commonplace reality that which endows upon rain its ‘nature’, possibly being instead just a really profound stroke of luck brought about by strong gusts of winds that managed to rake out all the moolah simply be being at the right place at the right time!

phantom rain
Source: Kuulpeeps

Across such differently laden elements that intrude into the very basic premise of what rain tends to be, the universal nature of rain has been time and again subject to absurdities indeed- some absurdly absurd, some commonly so- but all identifying as being a prefixed fall of ordinary rain. And yet, even as such diverse beings and objects and things and elements wipe out sometimes the soft, caressing touch of the rain upon the earth to instead end with resounding thuds, nature executes still another of her mischievous ploys to further elude her nature of being. Phantom rains for instance are rains that fall from the sky in all certainty but do not ever plant its loving kiss on the ground! As the droplets of rain evaporate before reaching the ground, the aura created is indeed one of a certain magical dimension of which nature is ever encompassing in myriad intriguing measures of working, leading therefore to such phenomenon as mysteriously real as drenching one in her immensely beautiful rainy allure but not quite wetting them at that!