Fish Fall From Sky

A waterspout hovering over the ocean
A waterspout hovering over the ocean (source)

A few days after Christmas, 2021, residents of Texarkana, Texas, received an unusual delivery. Hundreds of fish fell from the sky and landed in parking lots, in backyards, and in other places around the town.

Was it an omen that 2022 will be a special year, or did some of Santa’s presents just arrive late? Neither. According to scientists, animal rain happens most often when storms that are over water cause tornado-like waterspouts which can suck up small animals and later drop them over land. Although it is less frequent, storms that are over land also pick up animals.

Historically, the animal rain phenomenon has happened in many places around the world, including in Sri Lanka and in California in 2017, where fish fell in both cases. In other places around the world, frogs, spiders, worms, and octopuses have fallen from the sky. However, because it is uncommon, and it is difficult to record the animals falling, some people have been slow to believe it really happens.

The people that live in Texarkana seemed to accept the event without a lot of surprise. Residents cleared the fish from their properties, and one man said the fish would be useful as bait for his next fishing trip.


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Worksheet with activities


Hear the article spoken:

Useful Language

  • Resident (n) - a person that lives in a particular place
  • Parking lot (n) - an outside area where cars park
  • Omen (n) - a sign or warning of something that will happen in the future
  • Waterspout (n) - a rotating column of water that is caused by a storm
  • Frequent (adj) - happening often
  • Historically (adv) - in the past
  • Phenomenon (n) - an event in society or nature that can be observed or felt, but that remains unusual
  • Property (n) - a building or land or both together
  • Bait (n) - food put on a hook to catch fish


Discuss the following questions with your partner(s).

  1. What is the weather normally like where you live?
  2. How common are storms in your region? How dangerous are they?
  3. How would you react if you saw small animals falling from the sky and landing near you?
  4. What would be the best animal to see falling from the sky? What would be the worst?
  5. Do you believe in signs from God? If so, what can be a sign from God? How can we know the sign’s meaning?
  6. In modern times, we understand things that used to scare us. Can you think of any examples?
  7. What has science not explained? What is still mysterious about nature and the universe?
  8. Do you expect this year to be a good one? Why or why not?
  9. Do you get many deliveries? What sorts of things get delivered to your house?
  10. If a tornado picked you up, where would you like it to put you down?