When Lightning Strikes: Unusual Lightning-Related Deaths, Past and Present

“Lightning never strikes twice,” or at least the saying goes. However, in 2017 it seems that first strikes were down in numbers as well, to the credit of lightning strike awareness campaigns. According to the National Weather Service, there were just 16 people killed by lightning strikes in the United States in 2017, the lowest number since record-keeping on lightning-related deaths began in 1940. These numbers are down significantly from those early years of record keeping; in 1943 alone, 432 victims of lightning strikes were reported. USA Today reports that in 2001, the NWS began upping the ante on awareness of the dangers of lightning strikes, launching a public awareness campaign. Coinciding with the broadening public awareness of the issue, deaths related to lightning strikes were numbering significantly lower than in previous decades, averaging around 55 deaths per year. While deaths from lightning strikes are at an all-time low, […] Read More

Mini Ice Age May Be Just Five Years Away

It’s the end of 2017 — time to look ahead to a better 2018 and beyond … unless you’re a mathematician working on models to predict ice ages, climate change and other things many would prefer not to believe in – models or not. However, if you fear the literal definition of ‘global warming’, this might be for you. A Russian mathematician working in the UK says her model, which she claims has a 97% accuracy rate, predicts a mini ice age beginning in 2021 and lasting for 33 years, dropping temperatures enough to put Britain’s rivers in a permanent freeze. Hockey anyone? Valentina Zharkova, mathematics professor at Northumbria University, made these bold and cold predictions based on historical solar activity, particularly data from the last mini ice age – the so-called Little Ice Age from around 1250 to the early 20th century. No sunspots is not good for […] Read More

Mysterious Blue Snow Puzzles Russians in St. Petersburg

By Paul Seaburn It’s the hometown of Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, so anything unusual happening there gets high attention. So what kind of attention do you think a blue snowfall got? How about blue mixed with some deep purple snow? The strange-colored snow fell on Russia’s second-largest city on December 26th. The St. Petersburg Internet news source www.fontanka.ru reported that approximately 1 cm (0.39 inches) fell on that date, covering the ground, roofs, cars, windowsills and plants. “Eyewitnesses specify that it is not distributed evenly – by waves, as if the “paint” was blown off somewhere and blown by a wind rose. The thickness of the cover is about 1 cm. All the respondents of Fontanka stated that they see this phenomenon for the first time in their life.” “First time” in St. Petersburg, perhaps, but if any of them were in Chelyabinsk in February 2015 they would have seen […] Read More

Unexplained Spiral Vortex Appears on Mexican Weather Radar

Weather radar pictures have emerged of what appears to be a huge spiral vortex covering the entire country of Mexico on December 26th. Could it be a ghost of some hurricane past or worse – a ghostly prediction of a hurricane future? Is it related to other strange spirals seen on radar displays around the world? The video posted on the Internet shows a series of radar images of the spiral. It reportedly began on December 26th and was still there as of this writing on December 31st. It strangely appears only on National Weather Service radar centered in Mexico City (named Catedral for the Metropolitan Cathedral – Catedral Metropolitana). If it’s a malfunction, there’s no mention of it on the display nor anywhere else. Could it be something else? This isn’t the first time a mysterious spiral has appeared on Mexican weather radar. This spiral was seen on […] Read More

The Strange and Unexplained Phenomenon of Raining Stones

By April Holloway  Throughout history, there have been numerous recorded instances of strange objects falling from the sky–fish, frogs, candy, jellyfish, beans, nuts, seeds, and all manner of bizarre and unlikely objects. A popular theory explains these events as being caused by strong winds that whisk things up from the ground or water and hurl them towards an unsuspecting town many miles away. But can this theory also explain showers of heavy stones that have been known to damage houses and even kill people and livestock? A Long History of Raining Objects One of the first recorded instances of “raining” objects comes from the writings of Roman philosopher and naturalist Pliny the Elder, who documented storms of frogs and fish in the 1st century A.D. in what is now Italy. In the 3rd century A.D., ancient Greek rhetorician and grammarian Athenaeus wrote in his work “The Deipnosophists” (Book VIII): “In Paeonia […] Read More

Blue Snow Falls on Russian Town Two Years After Meteor Crash

Blue snow has covered Chelyabinsk, a Russian town in the Ural Mountains, almost two years to the day after a meteor traveling at over 34,000 miles per hour exploded over the city with the force of 500 kilotons of TNT, creating a shock wave that injured over 1,500 people. Is something attracting anomalies to Chelyabinsk in mid-February? Why is Russia having a season of colored snow? The blue snow fell on Chelyabinsk less than two weeks after orange snow covered the Russian city of Saratov. Government officials blamed that color on a windstorm in the Sahara desert that blew orange sand into the atmosphere which was carried to Russia before falling. The Chelyabinsk residents wearing T-shirts that read (in Russian) “I Survived the Great 2013 Meteor Explosion” are going to need a better explanation than that. Local resident Dmitry Kudryonok said the snow smelled like iron. News presenter Alexandra […] Read More

Mysterious Orange Snow Falls on Russian Town

I survive winters by abiding by these three simple rules: enjoy the white snow, drive carefully in the grey snow and don’t eat the yellow snow. I don’t know what to do if orange snow falls and neither did the residents of the Russian city of Saratov when it was blanketed this week with a deep covering of orange flakes. Saratov is a major port (population over 800,000) on the Volga River, 858 km (533 miles) from Moscow, and has a moderate (for Russia) climate with an annual snowfall of about 163 centimeters (64 inches) which, until now, has never been orange. The orange snow was widespread and of various shades of orange along with patches of yellow and brown. Saratov’s residents were rightly skeptical to avoid eating snowflakes or jumping in the juice-colored banks until finding out what caused it. The most likely reason, according to Saratov weather […] Read More

2013: It rained live fish in Kerala town

   From R Gopakumar DH News Service Thiruvananthapuram: The incident happened at 12.30 in the afternoon at a small junction called Manna in Taliparamba, 20 km from Kannur town. Thursday was one of those pleasant days in this monsoon season in Kerala with only an occasional drizzle disturbing the otherwise clear sky. As farmers wondered when they had last seen it rain cats and dogs, few would have thought that it would rain fish that day. It did ! The incident happened at 12.30 in the afternoon at a small junction called Manna in Taliparamba, 20 km from Kannur town. It was a drizzle… at first nobody noticed it. But soon we saw some slushy objects on the ground and under speeding vehicles. When we picked them up, we were surprised. They were fish, said a visibly surprised Abu, a provision stores owner at Manna. They were very much […] Read More