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Fish from heaven?

Philippines | Environment

MANILA, Jan. 16 – Manna falling from heaven during the time of Moses is a famous biblical story, but who ever heard of the skies sending fish? 

Last Friday morning, the astonished residents of a small town in southern Philippines could not believe their eyes as fish suddenly began raining from the sky.


The phenomenon was reported by radio DZBB, saying that three-inch-long mudfish showered the residents of Loreto municipality, Agusan del Sur province some 900 kilometers south of Manila. Immediately they made speculations that the fish were inadvertently dropped from a passing aircraft or that they were an ominous sign of doomsday.

Residents counted 72 mudfish alive. They were put into an aquarium by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for scientific study.

But Ms. Lolit Binalay, an engineer working at the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Service Administration (PAGASA), explained that this is no sign of the apocalypse.  It turns out that this sort of thing is not unheard of.  Fish have been reported falling from the sky in several parts of the world in the past year, and there is nothing supernatural in it.

A few years ago, residents living near Lake Mainit in Agusan del Norte province also experienced the raining of fish, Binalay said.

The phenomenon is the result of “whirlwinds over water [that] develop into waterspouts and become a swirling force that can suck in almost anything of the water's content: fish, eels, and even frogs.”

In some Spanish-speaking countries the phenomenon is called “Lluvia de Peces “or "Rain of Fish", which occurs once or twice a year.  Binalay
also said fish falling from the sky also happened in England and in the United States in 2004 and 2006, respectively.

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