The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.

: 1848 - 1957), Saturday 11 June 1955, page 36

National Library of Australia

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71887564

MP

in

Queensland
according

it
fro

has

been
news

raining
items.

fishes,

recent

About five per cent of such reports are cor rect, though they are -told and written in f a i t h. The good

cient to give them buoyancy in the air, and they fall lightly.

Wind borne
FISH up to about
nave
an

Inch
the

Queensland

o

n

e

ia

ri long might
buoyancy
force

similar

In the

air, and

probably true, because it coincided with à fierce whirlwind at the height of the storm
eral

of Ita fall from the cloud3 would be cushioned sufficiently to land lt without serious Injury, but a larger fish would plop so heavily of Its Insides, ss to rapture mosi if ft sustained outward .even no Injury.
,

There ore, however, sevremarkable pheno that can be confused mena readily with a "shower" of
living water
A
little

;

i

Just tex may

occasionally,
a

the

air

ls

turbulent that lagoon

creatures.

«

or a sweep and up carry through its not centre only of" quantities "solid" water divided) into (not objects, including droplets) but

whirlwind or the sea over

so vor

show .water

sober reflection will that the existence of
life

in

the

clouds

for

and further, any time that the falling of such creatures from a great height would kill them. Water does not in exist the heavens in great liquid masses. The clouds are nothing more than fog,
as

ls Impossible,

that may be in it. As soon as that disturbance has lost its force the water solid and objects will be deposited prob since distance away ably some quickly. such disturbances move
fish,
-

Then
fish,
or

you may tadpoles,

or

who anyone them knows.

has

flown

through

As soon as the fog droplet« Join of water masses together to form as big as raindrops they can no.

chances are that jured or mutilated fre more What happens much quently ls that torrential rain fall ing in the vicinity of watercourses covers the surrounding level ground
to
a

rain of a frogs, but the they will be In arrival. on

have

depth

of an

inch

or

even

less,

.

'

.

longer lie. supported In the air, and they fall as rain. fish, A would die as then, quickly in the clouds as lt woutó in a fog at ground level. As for Injury in falling, consider the case of the ducklings. Many of our wild ducks nest fairly high in trees 20 or 30 feet or higher. When the eggs are hatched and the babies aie still little fluffy of down,. they are masses enticed by the parents to launch them selves over the edge of the nest and fall to the ground. to no harm. They come They heels, but tumble head over may then they lust right themselves, give themselves a shake, and run off after their parents. The reason? to They are light in comparison their bulk; their the down and tiny rudiments of wings are suffi cient to give them in the
-

certain swift-swimming little fish swim over the paddocks in the flood. The moment the momentary first torrential water drains away they are left stranded. The West Australian minnow, in particular, to has been observed and
swim remarkably rapidly In even, film of water, so thai la a sud den downpour lt ls not unusual to

a

-

see

/

them swimming over paddocks three-quarters of a mile from th? dam Most where they lived. West Australian, reports of "showers of fish" are explained in this way. Quite a different state of affair.'} in the marshy parts of the occurs Australian tropics where the "wet replaces dry" succession the four of the temperate zone. seasons

Asleep

in

mud

THERE,
of

in "the

marshy
are

the and

wet," much is countryside the marshes are

fish which small populated with capable of surviving in shallow, stagnant water. These Ash are but when
-

active in the wet the rains cease season, and bottoms of the the muddy marshes crack into fissures the fhn sink in the mud and aestivata (the summer equivalent of hibernation) until the next rains soften the mud and wake them up. to the «oríace, Up they come spell of activ ready for another ity,/ with the first rains of the next "wet," and the sight of small fish

swimming

where

all

was

dust

a

few hours previously lends sub stance to the belief that they came down wlthj the rain. also, Frogs, commonly aestivate in the drier parts of Australia.

They creep Into sheltered crevices and remain In ft state of suspended animation during a prolonged dry
spell and when thé rain breaks the drought they all revive and hop life.. about In the Joy of renewed I have seen them hopping, on the rain-pelted roads in the light of the car, lamps, and the Illusion of their hopping would make you that you saw ready to swear them falling with the rain. earlier,' a But. as. mentioned small proportion (say five per cent.) of reported showers of fishes and frogs are genuine, and then a whirlwind or waterspout is the ex planation.
.

It

ls

easy

to

test and

the

genuine

"shower." Aestlvatlng

fish

fllm-swhnmlng

minnows,

frogs, and will be

found only on the ground. Genuine will fall on "showers" reefs and else Indis everything criminately.

Check spouts
you believe you have fail these things with the rain look up in the spout

SO seen

if

ing, or vehicles;

in
on

the

trays
of

tops

of farm sheds and

a been genuine shower you will find fishes and frogs up there, too. If there are none above of the qther ex ground level, one planations ls much more probable.

haystacks. If it has

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