Raining Fish Fell From The Sky In A Remote Part Of Australia’s Outback

large storm in Australia's Northern Territory

iStockphoto / stawroncs

Raining fish, or ‘raining animals’, is a rare meteorological phenomenon that’s been recorded as far back as 79 AD by Pliny the Elder, for whom my favorite beer is eponymously named.

The fact that fish raining from the sky happens every couple of years for as long as humans have recorded history doesn’t make it any less strange. And it’s just happened again in Lajamanu, a small town in Australia’s Northern Territory.

To say that Lajamanu, Australia is remote is an extreme understatement. It is hundreds of miles from the nearest cities (350 mi from Katherine, 550 mi from Darwin). And the local population is estimated at just under 600 people in the last Aussie census.

It. Is. Remote.

So when fish started falling from the sky it was the most exciting thing to happen since… Well, since it happened in Lajamanu in 2010, and in 2004, and other times dating back to 1974 when raining fish was first recorded in Lajamanu. It also happened in Texas in 2022

What causes ‘raining fish’ to occur?

The underlying meteorological mechanisms that lead to raining fish are both simple and complex. To make a long story short, it’s usually tornadoes or a similarly powerful storm.

Those storms pass over a stream, pond, or larger body of water and pick up fish into the tornado’s updraft, and voila, people below get pelted with raining fish.

There are also recorded instances of birds dropping so many fish from the sky that it’s mistaken for ‘raining fish.’ Such an incident took place last year in San Francisco.

The relative simplicity of this rare weather phenomenon, however, does not explain why Lajamanu, a town of fewer than 600 people, keeps getting bombarded with fish raining down from the heavens above.

In the past, when fish fell from the sky in Australia’s Northern Territory there have been local news outlets flocking to the region to cover it. This time around, there is a viral photo of a young kid holding a fish that was published by Australia’s ABC News.

According to new outlets in the area, the local children were scooping up the fish in jars and keeping them. This came after hundreds of fish fell from the sky ahead of violent weather in the area.

One Lajamanu resident said “I got up in the morning, I was working in the school at the time, and the dirt streets outside my home were covered in fish.”

Speaking about the raining fish, a local said “We saw some free-falling down to the ground. And some falling onto the roof. It was the most amazing thing we’ve ever seen. I think it’s a blessing from the Lord.”

Another told ABC News Australia “They were small fish and there were a lot of them around. It was just amazing.”

This video was from the last time it was raining fish in Lajamanu:

A BBC Supernatural video from over 14 years ago does a good visual storytelling job of explaining the phenomenon of raining fish:

What. A. World.