It’s raining cats and dogs? More like bats and polliwogs.“Animal rain” really happens! Small animals get swept up in windy waterspouts. As the waterspout gets too heavy, the animals fall to Earth with raindrops.Waterspouts form as storm clouds swirl above the ocean or a lake. These clouds form a tornado-like whirlwind that dips into the water. Waterspouts can spin up to 160 kilometers per hour (100 miles per hour)! They can pull in water, pebbles, even fish and jellies!Strong winds called updrafts can sweep up much larger animals, such as bats and frogs.As updrafts and waterspouts move over land, they lose their swirling energy. They are too heavy to keep moving. These clouds “lighten up” by pouring down rain. People walking below get out their umbrellas—and they may smell something fishy!
Here are a few examples of animal rain reported around the world. Keep in mind—not all of these are proven!
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry atmosphere Noun
layers of gases surrounding a planet or other celestial body.
Encyclopedic Entry: atmosphere cloud Noun
visible mass of tiny water droplets or ice crystals in Earth's atmosphere.
Encyclopedic Entry: cloud condensation Noun
process by which water vapor becomes liquid.
Encyclopedic Entry: condensation ecosystem Noun
community and interactions of living and nonliving things in an area.
Encyclopedic Entry: ecosystem energy Noun
capacity to do work.
funnel cloud Noun
tube-shaped cloud that, if it touches Earth, becomes a tornado or waterspout.
high-pressure system Noun
weather pattern characterized by high air pressure, usually as a result of cooling. High-pressure systems are usually associated with clear weather.
low-pressure system Noun
weather pattern characterized by low air pressure, usually as a result of warming. Low-pressure systems are often associated with storms.
person who studies patterns and changes in Earth's atmosphere.
phenomena Plural Noun
(singular: phenomenon) any observable occurrence or feature.
frog or toad in its early state of development. Also called a tadpole.
all forms in which water falls to Earth from the atmosphere.
Encyclopedic Entry: precipitation storm Noun
severe weather indicating a disturbed state of the atmosphere resulting from uplifted air.
a violently rotating column of air that forms at the bottom of a cloud and touches the ground.
rising movement of gas.
column of rotating fluid, such as air (wind) or water.
column of rotating cloud-filled wind that descends to an ocean or lake.
Encyclopedic Entry: waterspout weather Noun
state of the atmosphere, including temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, humidity, precipitation, and cloudiness.
Encyclopedic Entry: weather