Honduras Fish Rain – Does It Really Rain Fish?

By Ivan Pesut on December 8 2019 in Environment

Ancient picture exhibiting fish rain.
Ancient picture exhibiting fish rain.

Honduras Fish Rain is a phenomenon that has been happening in the village of Yoro, which is the capital city of the Yoro Department in the center of Honduras. For almost two hundred years, there have been numerous reports of fish mysteriously falling from the sky. Is this a naturally occurring phenomenon or a divine intervention?

Did God Feed The Hungry People?

In the 1850s, the city of Yoro was visited by Jose Manuel, who was a Spanish priest on one of his missions. When he came to the area, he saw how poor the living conditions are for the local people inhabiting the area. The people of Yoro were hungry, and the scarcity of food was a factor they fought every day. Father Jose Manuel, upon witnessing that kind of situation, decided to ask God for help.

The legend says that Jose Manuel spent 3 days in prayer, hoping for God to offer any kind of help to the starving people of Yoro. After the 3 days have passed, a storm of dark clouds came, and small fish began to fall from the sky. This is believed to be the first occurrence of this phenomenon, which was named ‘’Lluvia de Pesces’’, or ‘’Rain of Fish’’.

A very similar kind of explanation was made in 1823 by Alexander Von Humbolt, who was a Prussian explorer in Ecuador. He addressed the events after the eruption of Mount Carihuariazo, which happened in 1698. After the volcano exploded, the area around the mountain was covered in mud and - fish. It is believed that the fish came from the lake that was connected with Mount Carihuariazo with underground tunnels. But, what is the case with Yoro, since there are no volcanoes around that area?

Fish Rains In Australia

Now we skip forward a few hundred years. The people living in Yoro still report that fish are falling from the sky at least once or twice a year. The life standard of the region has not changed much since the mid-1800s. People of Yoro still deal with severe scarcity of food, and most of their everyday diet consists of corn and beans.

The team of scientists and biologists from National Geographic came to Yoro in the 1970s. They witnessed when fish suddenly appeared in the town streets. At the time, even they could not offer a valid scientific explanation, how was this even possible. These types of events are not unique only to the city of Yoro. Similar types of ‘’animal rain’’ storms were reported from Australia in 2010. On February 25, fish started falling from the sky in the small town of Lajamanu in the Northern Territory of Australia. After that, more viable scientific theories were presented that could well explain the Honduras Fish Rain.

Plausible Scientific Explanations

One of the most possible explanations of the Honduras Fish Rain is that it happens when massive amounts of rain start falling and flood the streets. In that way, the fish is forced to relocate because of the flood, which ends up in them being left dry. As the flood quickly backs out, the fish is essentially trapped in the city streets.

Another theory that is presented seems to hold even more ground. The Fish Rain is a result of a tornado type called ‘’waterspouts’’. The waterspouts are created with quick and major shifts in atmospheric pressure above the surface of the water. The air starts to circulate, forming a waterspout that has enough power to pull the animals that are close to the surface into the air. As this tornado progresses inland, it starts to lose some of its power, resulting in fish falling from the sky.

One more possible explanation supports what the National Geographic team of scientists hypothesized in the 1970s. From their perspective, the fish is actually living in the underground aquifers below the city of Yoro and that they flood up to the surface after periods of heavy rain.

However, all of the scientific theories do not stop the people of Yoro from organizing parades that first started in 1998. The sculpture of the priest Jose Manuel is carried across the entire town in honor of the miracle that happened in the 1850s and allowed the people to feed when they were starved.

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