Rain of Fish Falls on Elementary School in California

An image of the fallen fish. (Image credit: Action News Now)

An image of the fallen fish. (Image credit: Action News Now)

Students and teachers at Stanford Elementary in Oroville, California, thought that they had been the victims of a prank on Wednesday, May 17th, when they showed up to school to find the entire area--including the building's roof--covered in dead fish.  However, their disbelief turned to bewilderment as it started to rain fish again during school classes and recess, according to school librarian Rachael Thompson.

Experts believe that tornadic waterspouts could be responsible for such a strange rain.

“I’ve seen small ponds literally emptied of their water by a passing tornado. So, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for frogs (or other living things) to ‘rain’ from the skies," said Professor Ernest Agee from Purdue University in an article for Weatherwise Magazine.

A common consensus among scientists is that that salt, stones, fish, or frogs can be pulled into a waterspout’s swirling updrafts and deposited once the waterspout hits land and loses its energy.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife believes the fish is a kind of carp and is not found in the nearby Feather River, although rains of fish have been reported as far away as 100 miles from their natural habitat.

Tobias Wayland