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10 Things That Have "Rained" From the Sky

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We’re all familiar with the phrase “raining cats and dogs,” but what about fish and frogs? Since biblical times, there have been reports of strange things falling from the sky. Some incidents have occurred more than once and are the result of natural causes. Others were more random and are less likely to repeat themselves.

1. Raw Meat

A few pieces of poultry fell from the sky in Virginia last year, one landing on the head of a teen in the middle of a horseback riding lesson. Experts guess that a seagull was the culprit. But it was buzzards, thought to be responsible for regurgitating venison or mutton, that caused the event now known as the Kentucky Meat Shower. There have been other incidents over the years as well.

2. Fish

Typically, fish are scooped up by water spouts and dropped in bunches—and that's just what happened in the remote Australian town of Lajamanu in 2010.

3. Blood

At least, that’s what it looks like. This most recently happened last year in India. In an Examiner article that analyzed the different “red rain” cases that have been reported over the past two decades, the publication quoted two scientists who concluded that “the mysterious red color in the rain is caused by [an] unidentified life form that does not have DNA.” Other scientific theories today about how the rain turns red revolve around meteor dust and micro-organisms.

4. Frogs

Like fish, frogs are easy targets for updrafts and can be carried and dropped miles and miles away. In one 2009 incident, tadpoles rained down on a town in central Japan.

5. Sharks

In 2012, a shark fell on the 12th tee of a Southern California golf course. A course marshal found it and transported it back to the ocean, where it was successfully released. Witnesses say the shark had puncture wounds and concluded that it had been scooped up by a bird and carried over land before it was able to shake free.

6. Worms

Water spouts were thought to be the cause of 120 worms falling in tangled bunches onto a group of students during gym class.

7. Golf Balls

We all joke about golf-ball sized hail, but what about real golf balls? Popular Mechanics cited a St. Petersburg Times story that reported “dozens and dozens and dozens” of golf balls falling on the town of Punta Gorda on the gulf coast of Florida in 1969. Water spouts and an abundance of golf courses were thought to have been behind the strange and dangerous occurrence.

8. Money

A German woman was able to collect “a substantial amount of money” that fell from the sky as she was driving. In what is a really impressive combination of honesty and foolishness, she later turned it in to police!

9. Spiders

Spiders can’t fly, but they can build a parachute with the best of them. In 2007, a group of them “rained” down upon some hikers in Argentina.

10. Mud

J.W. Moore of Easton, Pennsylvania, wrote to the editors of Science Magazine to recount a "mud shower" caused by a dust storm and subsequent rain that occurred on April 12, 1902. It happened again later that year, this time in New Zealand: According to a telegram from November 14, "The south train yesterday afternoon encountered a shower of red mud the whole way from Henley to Waihola."

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Animals
Why Male Hyenas Have It Worse Than Females
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A life of hunting zebras and raising young on the savanna isn’t half bad for a female hyena. Sadly, the same can’t be said for their male counterparts. As MinuteEarth explains, things take a downturn for the males of the species once they hit adolescence. No female in their pack will mate with them, a behavior scientists believe evolved to avoid inbreeding, so they head off in search of a different group to join. After dealing with vicious hazing from their new clan, they file in at the bottom of the rank and wait for other males above them to die so that they can slowly gain status.

Even after rising through the hierarchy, the most a male hyena can aspire to is being second place to the lowest-ranking female. Thanks to their bulky build and aggressive behavior, female hyenas enjoy a dominant position that’s rare in the animal kingdom.

After watching the video below, head over here for more facts about hyenas.

[h/t MinuteEarth]

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Art
A Beached Whale Sculpture Popped Up on the Banks of Paris's Seine River
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In Paris, dozens of fish varieties live in the Seine River. Now, the Associated Press reports that the famous waterway is home to a beached whale.

Rest assured, eco-warriors: The sperm whale is actually a lifelike sculpture, installed on an embankment next to Notre Dame Cathedral by Belgian artists’ collective Captain Boomer. It’s meant to raise environmental awareness, and evoke "the child in everyone who still is puzzled about what is real and what is not,” collective member Bart Van Peel told the Associated Press.

The 65-foot sculpture has reportedly startled and confused many Parisians, thanks in part to a team of fake scientists deployed to “survey” the whale. One collective member even posted a video on social media, warning Parisians that there “may be others in the water” if they opt to take a dip in the river, The Local reported.

The whale sculpture is only temporary—but as for Captain Boomer, this isn’t their first whale-related stunt. Last summer, the collective installed a similar riverside artwork in Rennes, France, and they also once strapped a large-scale whale sculpture to the back of a truck and drove it around France.

[h/t Associated Press]

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