Circulated on various social media platforms, a post claimed that “according to BBC news”, fish were raining in Mumbai instead of “water or snow”.
The Fishy Story Raining On Social Media.
Mumbai, like every year, saw torrential rain this monsoon as well. Along with waterlogged streets and potholes, the city also tumbled over a rather unusual piece of news: that it was raining fish in Mumbai.
Is it true?
There have been no reports of such an event occurring anywhere in Mumbai this monsoon. The “BBC news” report that the WhatsApp message cites is nowhere to be found either.
Needless to say, the video of fish raining from the sky, is a doctored one. Back in July 2016, there were reports and pictures of fish “falling from the sky” on Mumbai Pune Expressway. In fact, the clips shows people picking fish off the road in the doctored video seem to have been taken from the 2016 footage below.
Raining Fish All Over India?
In October 2016, TOI reported a similar incident where residents of Khansoorajpur village in Jaipur woke up to find fish falling from the sky along with heavy rain.
Before that, in June 2015, The Telegraph reported that villagers from Gollamudi and Pallagiri in Andhra Pradesh had witnessed a ‘fish rain’.
“I thought it was a joke but when I went out I too found fish in my backyard and also on the road,” The Telegraph report quoted a resident.
That’s not all. In July 2010, TOI reported that locals in Varanasi’s Sarnath had seen “live fish on the middle of road after a strong monsoon shower”.
Does It Really Rain ‘Fish, Anywhere’?
Yes and No!
The fish do not exactly fall out of the clouds. Instead, the creatures are basically blown into land from nearby water bodies by strong winds.
Scientists believe that this rare phenomenon occurs due to whirlwinds and tornadoes. When a whirlwind or tornado form a waterspout (a rotating column of water and spray) over a water body, it often sucks out fish and other creatures into the vortex.
When these travelling wind patterns lose their speed, they begin dropping the creatures, sometimes on land, giving the appearance of fish (or frogs) falling out of the sky.
THE HONDURAS’ Rain Of Fish’
For more than 100 years now, the Central American country of Honduras has been witnessing ‘fish rain’. So much so that this event has a name of its own here: Lluvia de Peces, which means ‘Rain of Fish’.
Legend has it that it was the prayers of a priest named Jose Subirana in the late 1800s that brought in this “miracle”. When the nation was suffering from severe poverty, Father Subirana prayed for the lasting starvation to end, and God answered his prayers by making it rain fish in the Departmento do Yoro. Since then, it has been an annual occurrence.
In the 1970s, National Geographic started an investigation on Lluvia de Peces. Eventually, the team found that the fish were not from local saltwater bodies, but they from freshwater.
After that, the team suggested that the fish were coming up from under the ground rather than falling from the sky.
Finally on Raining Fish…
Not only fish have been known to fall from the sky. There have been multiple reports of animals of different species “raining” from the sky, even crocodiles and snakes but today, it is safe to say that Mumbai hasn’t seen any such ‘rain’.