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 alive and looked like paral, the freshwater variety found in lakes and drains.. There were about 30 to 50 of them, he told Deccan Herald over the phone.

Two professors, Mr. K I Mathew, and Mr. Khaleel Chuva who teach at the Sir Syed College Taliparamba have collected the celestial droppings from Abu and are studying the specimen. They said that the phenomenon appeared to be genuine and was not bogus as was initially suspected.

How these survived is inexplicable, but the fish are of two stripes and are roughly the size of a pencil. People told me that the fish were ice-cold when they picked them up, said Prof Churva, a botany teacher.

It is now claimed that fish rain had been reported from Peermedu in Idukki and Paravoor in Kollam in June which incidentally witnessed high-speed winds during the second phase of monsoon.

Experts say that it can happen during a storm when the wind may sweep the earth’s surface at great speed, creating whirlwinds or even small tornadoes that can catch the debris on the surface. The clouds which carry them will open up sooner or later to drop the catch. Raining animals were first described by Pliny the Elder in the 1st century. Before the advent of modern science, supernatural explanations, from God to extra-terrestrial entities, were invoked to explain the phenomenon.

Russian scientist D V Nalivkin recounts numerous instances of fish rain in his 1983 book Hurricanes, Storms, and Tornados. He even refers to raining of crabs in England, rats in Norway and hopping toads on Napoleon’s army.

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