While all of the crazy stuff that the sky does is predictable in a very general sense, we puny humans still remain subject to surprise phenomena that defy all of our advanced prediction technology. Honestly, we can’t even truly nail down if tomorrow’s a rainstorm is going to just water your flowers or destroy your house. The sky is an insane mysterious mistress, and we have no choice but to endure her weird whims. And truly, she’s proven herself to be a pretty strange lady indeed throughout history. Here are a few of the more unusual things that have unexpectedly come from our strange skies.
Meat: Olympia Springs, KY
If you were lucky enough to live in Kentucky in 1876, you might remember the legendary Kentucky Meat Shower, which is unfortunately not a euphemism. Reported far and wide by reputable sources, including Scientific American, chunks of raw meat measuring up to four square inches fell for a period of a period of few minutes. A few brave souls tasted the mystery meat said that it tasted like mutton or bear, and the best science that 1876 had to offer found that the meat matched samples of lung tissue found in horses, or terrifyingly, human babies. Some scientists believe that the meat was actually a type of gelatinous bacteria that expanded when it absorbed rainwater, but locals have maintained it was all probably just barfed up by vultures as they took flight, because vultures are nature’s greatest mistake.
A Shark: San Juan Capistrano, CA
San Juan Capistrano is about two miles from the California coast, but even that short distance would be a pretty long way for a shark to walk. When a golf course employee found a 2-foot leopard shark in the middle of the green in October of 2012, he popped it into the back of his golf cart and brought it to the clubhouse before eventually releasing it back into the ocean. While no one saw the shark actually get through security, it’s presumed that a predatory bird had dropped its catch as it was heading back to its nest, based on a few small puncture wounds along the body of the shark.
A Meteorite: Peekskill, NY
Meteorites are rare objects, but certainly not an unexplainable thing to see falling from the sky; still, a meteorite is probably one of the more unusual and profitable ways to destroy a used 1980 Chevy Malibu. Seen by witnesses everywhere between Pittsburgh and Washington D.C., the Peekskill Meteorite landed in the New York town, completely demolishing the aforementioned parked Chevy, which had only recently been purchased for a mere $300. Not only was the meteorite sold for $69,000, but the totalled car also became a collector’s item and was sold for $10,000 before going on a museum tour. Not to be left out, local meteor enthusiasts offered up to $200 for bags of driveway gravel, making the incident the coolest car accident of all time.
It’s a phenomenon that happens all over the world, but the spider rain over Argentina on April 6, 2007 might be the first time that terrifying arachno-rain was actually caught on camera. Christian Gaona was out hiking with some friends when they noticed that the ground was completely covered with spiders, which isn’t a completely unusual sight. But things changed when the hikers realized that the spiders were falling from the sky. Instead of screaming, vomiting, and dying from panic like any rational person would have normally done, Gaona had the presence of mind to take some pictures. Science tells us that the spiders were probably swept up in some wind turbulence and kept aloft in their own personal web parachutes until finally coming to rest in a calmer area…but that doesn’t make it less awful.
“Star Jelly”: Scotland
Reports of a mysterious, evaporating jelly that appears during astrological events date back over 700 years, citing everything from meteor showers to animal products as the source of the “star jelly.” An 1846 report from Lowville, NY claims that a UFO hovered near the ground and left a pile of the stuff, presumably using Earth like the Dave Matthews tour bus uses bridges and dumping its septic tank. A 2009 report from Scotland claims that witnesses actually saw some weird goop fall from the sky onto the local hills, but it was later tested and proven to be the undigested reproductive systems of local frogs and lizards, consumed by birds and later disgorged. So even though it’s not space alien toilet matter, the stuff’s earthly origins are no less disgusting.
More “Star Jelly”: Frisco, TX
While the description of “star jelly” seems to change from incident to incident, a Frisco, TX woman claimed to have found a lawn full of the stuff in 1979, coincidentally appearing during the night of a meteor shower, and this time, having a purple hue. Rather than being space gunk, a search for the material’s origin revealed that it likely came from a plant outside of Frisco that used a chemical process to purify lead in batteries, which resulted in a purple by-product. A change in the wind caused an unusual deposit in her front lawn, but some locals remained skeptical, preferring the nonsensical Maniac Mansion theory instead.
Blood: La Sierra, Choco, Colombia
History is full of reports of blood raining from the skies, but a vast majority of these incidents can be chalked up concentrations of red dust or algae that have been swept up into cloud formations. Should a blood rain occur during freezing weather, the phenomenon simply changes its name to the far less unpleasant “watermelon snow,” but one red rainstorm in 2008 in rural Colombia seems to defy the usual explanations. While the actual level of science applied is questionable, nearby Colombian bacteriologists claim that the reddish liquid actually contained real blood, though the area also believed that the blood rain was a punishment from above for their potentially amoral ways, so there’s no real knowing where local science and religion actually conspired.
Unknown Force: Tunguska, Russia
Space will kick your butt without even touching you. On June 30, 1908, a 770 square mile of uninhabited forest in Russia was scorched and flattened, and no one knows exactly why. While distant witnesses recall hearing an explosion, and surrounding seismographs registered a 5.0 magnitude earthquake, there’s absolutely no evidence of anything actually colliding with the Earth. Over 8 million trees were broken outward from the epicenter, with many near the center being burnt and stripped of branches. Prevailing scientific theory states that the blast was probably an unbelievably strong blast of air resulting from meteorite passing about five miles over the surface of the Earth. The blast of force was many times that of a nuclear weapon and could have killed millions if it occurred over a populated area, so keep your eyes on the skies, you helpless sack of meat and bones.
Images : Getty