Honduras’ Strange Fish Rain Phenomenon

Yoro, Honduras is well known for a few agricultural goods and, of course, the annual “rain” of silverfish. In the 1850s or 1860s, a Spanish missionary named Father Jose Manuel Subirana visited Yoro, Honduras. After witnessing how poor and hungry the peasants were, he prayed for three days and three nights, begging God to provide food for them. Soon after, a black cloud arose in the sky, and fish began to fall from the sky, feeding the town in response to his prayers.

This was the first reported instance of the phenomenon known as lluvia de pesces, or Fish Rain, according to legend.

The Fish Rain is said to happen every year, sometimes more than once, near the end of the spring season. Only after a strong and damaging storm, when everyone is sheltered indoors, can the “lluvia de peces” (literally, “rain of fish”) occur. When the storm passes, the residents know to grab their baskets and head into the streets, where sardine-like fish have been strewn around.

Worse, it has been determined that such fish are not endemic to Yoro’s waterways. The fish, according to the villagers, must have come from the heavens in a miraculous display of divine intervention. “It’s a miracle,” one local commented. “We think of it as a God-given gift.” Many people consider it a blessing because it is the only time of year when they can buy and eat fish. Poverty is prevalent in the region. Mud-brick homes are home to families. For some people who survive off on maize, beans, or other self-grown crops, this is the only time of year they can eat fresh fish. In their perspective, the Rain of Fish is unquestionably a miracle.

The researchers then speculated that the fish may live in underground rivers or underwater tunnels, where they are blind due to a lack of light.

The strong rains and subsequent flooding, they reasoned, would have pushed the subsurface fish to the surface. Another theory is that waterspouts are to responsible for the fish rain. Waterspouts aren’t known to be capable of carrying fish long distances, and the fish that flood Yoro’s streets aren’t from their native streams.

The fish might have come from the Atlantic Ocean, which is almost 100 miles away and far too far for a waterspout to have accompanied them. “Fish rain” or “animal rain” has been reported in several nations, including Mexico, China, Thailand, and Australia. Fish and frogs are the most common, although spiders, birds, snakes, mice, and jellyfish have all been documented. There are no pictures of the phenomenon since no one would dare to go outside in such bad weather, according to the locals.

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