Fish fall documented in Sri Lanka

A fish fall has reportedly occurred with a rain in Sri Lanka. The explanation is the same as always, one that leaves me a bit cold.

BBC News – Fish rain down on Sri Lanka village.

Villagers in the district of Chilaw said they heard something heavy falling and found scores of fish with a total weight of 50kg (110lbs).

It is not the first such incident in Sri Lanka – in 2012, a case of “prawn rain” was recorded in the south.

The given explanation by the BBC meteorologist was a tornado:

Complex meteorological processes result in a rapidly rotating column of air spinning out of the base of storm clouds, often causing huge damage and acting like vacuum cleaners, sucking up any material in their path.

The witnesses reported the fish fell with rain onto rooftops. There is no proof of this. Also, the idea of a tornado acting like a vacuum seems a bit off. It rips and throws things, not sucks them up. These are pretty large animals (I know tornadoes and cows and all…). And they are alive. I’m skeptical of this story and would really prefer a less just-so explanation for fish falls. Or better, would like to see it demonstrated. I’ve yet to see them fall. The best we have are reports that they appear on roofs and in gutters. I need a bit more, this is really weird stuff.

One story was posted to YouTube in March of 2013 where salt water fish reported fell without rain. In December of 2012, there were multiple reports of fish and shrimp/prawn falls. Well, something is going on in Sri Lanka. These are rather commonplace there.

Man collecting fresh fish the fell in Sri Lanka. The fish was edible.

Man collecting fresh fish the fell in Sri Lanka. The fish was edible.

Tip: Marcus Sprenkel

Similar stories:

Rain of fishes (Lluvia de Peces) reported in the Philippines | Doubtful News.

Another incident of fish fall reported in Northern Territory Australia | Doubtful News.

  9 comments for “Fish fall documented in Sri Lanka

  1. May 6, 2014 at 9:54 PM

    I too am skeptical of that explanation. I doubt the action of a tornado, which wouldn’t last long over water, would be capable of picking up fish like that.

    Though, the other explanations don’t make a whole lot of sense either.

  2. K Friesen
    May 6, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    Of course this all relates back to aliens. They pick up these fish from the fish mongers in South America (which they find by following the ads and directions that are spelled out in the Nazca lines), and then they dump the ones they don’t want, that don’t meet their criteria, or maybe the ones that were left in their fridge from last time, somewhere else. Given that most of the world is water, we can only imagine how many fish falls (and falls of tourist trinkets, empty beer cans, stolen hotel towels, etc) rain down unwitnessed. Maybe they only dump their fish (living or otherwise) on land, you know, just for fun, to see what we make of it, maybe to feed us, the animals they like to laugh at. I imagine that they probably have signs up in space that say “don’t feed the humans” or something, but just like anybody, not all of them obey all the rules, especially when they can have the fun of watching people run around incredulous, looking at all the flopping fish that have suddenly appeared on the sidewalk, on their windshield, down their chimneys, on their heads. They can also laugh when we try to figure out where these floppers came from. “ooh, maybe they will think it was some magical waterspout, or a new, mutant species of extraordinarily adept flying fish.”

  3. Daran
    May 6, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    No one knows how it happens but it does, I have seen it myself in Barcaldine, Queensland about 50 years ago.

  4. May 6, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    I wonder how close these places are to a coast-line. During a heavy rain the fish could be moving inland into brackish waters and then deposited by floods. So when the rain stops and the waters recede there’s fish on the ground. Could even come from underground water sources due to flooding.

    (No, I’m not the first to have this idea. Doing some Googling.)

  5. May 7, 2014 at 1:29 AM

    Interesting. If there were a more precise location it should be possible to tell if there was a body of water nearby. The best I can tell is it’s somewhere here:,79.8250476,14z

    There’s a video in which it looks like they’re retrieving fish from a roadside drainage ditch. A translation might help, or not.

  6. Justin
    May 7, 2014 at 2:09 AM

    A tornadic event does seem a little… sensational, but as far I know this is the only rational explanation that has been given. As far as a tornado traveling over water. A small lake, or a river wouldn’t reduce the energy all that much. There are also water spouts, which are like dirt devels. I don’t know that much about wind speed or duration, but tornadic events do occur over water. They just usually aren’t that powerful because of the extra weight and temperature difference. In many instances the fish that fall are still alive when they fall. The time from when they are extracted to when they are released can only be a few minutes. Maybe as much as 10 minutes. Many are also said to be frozen in some cases. Which would make sense if it were a tornado. Chances are, its a tornado or cyclone going over a smaller area of water that isn’t to deep and has a large concentration of fish, like a large school in the shallows sponning, which does happen this time of year on more than half of the planet, and sucking some fish up. Most of the fish were dropped pretty quickly after they were pucked up, a few hundred were carried high enough into the storm to travel over an area, before hitting a weak enough spot in the storm for gravity to pull them back down. That’s the best thing I’ve herd anyone come up with. It still is kindof hard to believe though. The odds are not in its favor. Insanely unlikely. But all things are possible, thus saith the lord and quantum physics.

  7. Brian
    May 7, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    My take would be something akin to the updraft you find around buildings, the Himalayas, and probably a good waterspout yanking fish out of a lake. Sounds about as good…. šŸ˜›

  8. Indrid Cole
    May 7, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    I think the key fact is what kind of fish those are. They seem to be able to survive out of water for an extended amount of time since they were still alive by the time the news crew showed up. It would be helpful to be able to understand the local’s version of the incident to gather more clues. Where I live we have “walking catfish” that can also breathe air and will climb out of one lake or canal and “walk” to another. It usually happens after an extended period of rainy weather.

  9. Jim Speiser
    May 7, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    I was skeptical of the tornado explantion myself, but I’ve learned that fishfalls never occur more than 70 miles from the seashore; and that tornadoes can fling stuff quite a distance. Yes, they do suck things up and toss them many miles away.

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