Weather Phenomenon: Animal Rain

selective focus photo of red and blue frog on ground
school of fish swimming underwater
Photo by Diego Sandoval on

A phenomenon called animal rain has occurred in the Texarkana area, according to the National Weather Service. The phenomenon occurs when small water animals such as frogs, crabs, or small fish are swept into waterspouts and fall from the sky when the waterspout dissipates, according to AccuWeather. This week’s animal rain consisted of fish falling from the sky because Texarkana receives its water from the Red River watershed in Oklahoma, where there are plenty of trees and frogs and even some other species of fish such as catfish and carp.

What Is Animal Rain?

Animal rain is a phenomenon where animals fall from the sky in areas like Texas and Arkansas. In one case, residents of Texarkana said fish came down with a rain of frogs. According to National Geographic, animal rain occurs when waterspouts suck small animals out of ponds or lakes and then release them over land.

What Is A Waterspout?

A waterspout is a whirling column of air and water that can form over water under certain conditions. The general public often calls any waterspout a tornado, though technically, not all are tornadoes (some have no rotating winds). Waterspouts are generally considered to be smaller cousins of tornadoes, formed by different atmospheric processes but still potentially dangerous when they touch down on land. (source)

How Does Animal Rain Occur?

Most experts agree that animal rain occurs when waterspouts suck small fish, frogs, and other water animals into clouds. As these creatures travel higher and higher into a cloud, they freeze. Then as these animals begin to descend in their frozen state, they begin to melt at lower altitudes, creating rainfall with small fragments of these dead creatures in it. This phenomenon is called animal rain.

Animal Rain in the News

An annual phenomenon in Texarkana, Arkansas is making national headlines after thousands of fish rained down on a couple’s house. Although animal rain is rare, it’s not unheard of. Since 2010, it has happened 15 times in Texas alone. A city official said that when small water animals are swept into waterspouts, they spin and get torn apart, which explains why they were ripped up into smaller pieces when they hit the ground.


Michele Mitchell Blog Writer for Ubuntu Village

Hi, I am Michele Mitchell, also known as Neftalia2017. I am the President and Founder of Ubuntu Village and the author of this blog post. I have been writing for ten years as a pastime.

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