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Real Life Sharknado? In this Town, It’s Literally Raining Fish

In Lajamanu, a remote town in northern Australia, fish are literally raining from the sky.  

The town, which is hundreds of miles from the nearest coast, has experienced four different “deluges of fish” in the past few decades, Newsweek reported. The most recent event happened just a couple of weeks ago. 

Some experts theorize that the fallen fish came from a maelstrom, essentially a giant watery tornado. Also called water spouts, maelstroms can touch down, suck up animals from the ocean and deposit them further inland. (In case you’re wondering: Yes, this is the same phenomena that dumped giant sharks on Los Angeles the cult-classic film Sharknado.) 

These kinds of fishy weather events aren’t as uncommon as you might think. Incidences of “animal rain” have happened in Texas and Sri Lanka in recent years, reports National Geographic. Both these events were also attributed to maelstroms. The storms allegedly brought fish and other small animals inland and dropped them on streets and rooftops below. 

Maelstroms aren’t the only potential movers of fish. Just last year, anchovies rained down on the heads of San Franciscans, reports media site SFGate. The explanation? Coastal anchovy populations experienced a banner year in 2022, and seabirds caught more fish than they knew what to do with. When pelicans and other seabirds flew over the city with their mouths stuffed with anchovies, they inevitably dropped dozens of the fish on residents below. 

Unfortunately, neither the maelstrom theory nor the seabird theory quite applies to Lajamanu, which is hours from the coast. Some experts think it more likely that the tiny fish came from a flooding event that happened to coincide with the rain—rather than a component of the rain itself. 

Regardless of the cause, the residents don’t seem to be too upset. Some are calling it a blessing from god. Others, especially kids, are scooping up the live ones and keeping them as pets. 

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