It’s Raining Fish: Texas, Arkansas Towns Report Fish Falling From the Sky

by Matthew Memrick
(Photo by Ty O'Neil/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Fish falling from the sky made for an exciting day for some Texas and Arkansas residents Wednesday.

In Texarkana, Texas, residents witnessed fish at four locations, according to the WFTV. The fish didn’t stay local too. Some found their way into Arkansas.

City Takes To Social Media To Explain Natural Event

Texarkana officials posted Wednesday, explaining animal rain to residents.

The post explained animal rain, saying the phenomenon happens when water spouts or drafts sweep up small water animals like frogs, crabs, and small fish.

According to the National Geographic Society, rain reports of bats, fish, snakes, birds, frogs, and jellies stretch back for centuries. 

After sweeping them up, these small animals “are then rained down at the same time as the rain.”

The city post asked for pictures and joked about tiptoeing “into 2022 as quietly as possible.” 

While it’s unusual, the event occurs from time to time. But KHOU reported that the National Weather Service could not account for the weather system over those areas to make the animal rain happen.

Residents Witness Rain Firsthand

One Arkansas resident told the newspaper about witnessing nearly two dozen fish in her yard. 

Others told the newspaper about a pop-up afternoon thunderstorm that dropped hail and fish. One bystander likened the air smell to a fish market or a dock along a lake.

KSLA reported that security video at Discount Wheel and Tire in east Texas got both the rain and the fish falling from the sky. 

One employee heard hail and later thought that the hail could have been “fish slapping the roof.” 

Resident Tim Brigham told the TV station that he was speechless at first. Then, he thought it was “pretty cool.” He said he started to get a bucket and pick them up “for fishing bait.” 

Tire store employees soon went from changing tires to picking up the fish out of the parking lot.

Another resident named Jeanie Tucker was amazed by the weather event. She told KSLA that she checked for fallen fish in her yard and on her house roof.

She didn’t understand what happened and had never seen animal rain before. 

Tucker said something “tore all (the fish) to pieces,” and they “were just heads and bodies without heads.” 

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, another animal rain event with fish happened in Oroville, California, in 2017. The Library of Congress recorded frogs raining in Kansas City in 1873.

“‘Scientific American’ concluded that it must have been caused by a tornado or other land-based storm, since there were no swamps or other bodies of water in the vicinity,” according to a Library of Congress report from 2006.