Fish Fall At Lajamanu

Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 28th, 2010

“If there is an underlying oneness of all things, it does not matter where we begin, whether with stars, or laws of supply and demand, or frogs, or Napoleon Bonaparte. One measures a circle, beginning anywhere.” ~ Charles Fort, Lo!

Fish, as well as other animals such as frogs, falling from the skies is an old Fortean phenomena of some note.  In some ways, it is sort of “crypto”-zoological too.

Fish fell from the sky at Lajamanu (Australia) this week. Photo courtesy of Christine Balmer.

While the Top End and Central Australia have been battered by torrential rains, a Territory town has had fish falling from the sky.

The freak phenomena happened not once, but twice, on Thursday and Friday afternoon [February 25-26, 2010] about 6pm at Lajamanu, about 550km southwest of Katherine.

 Newsbreaker Christine Balmer, who took these photos of the fish on the ground and in a bucket, had to pinch herself when she was told “hundreds and hundreds” of small white fish had fallen from the sky.

 “It rained fish in Lajamanu on Thursday and Friday night,” she said, “They fell from the sky everywhere.

 “Locals were picking them up off the footy oval and on the ground everywhere.

 “These fish were alive when they hit the ground.”

 Mrs Balmer, the aged care co-ordinator at the Lajamanu Aged Care Centre, said her family interstate thought she had lost the plot when she told them about the event.

 “I haven’t lost my marbles,” she said, reassuring herself. “Thank god it didn’t rain crocodiles.”

 Lajamanu sits on the edge of the Tanami Desert, hundreds of kilometres from Lake Argyle and Lake Elliott and even further from the coast. But it’s not the first time the remote community has been bombarded by fins from above.

 In 2004, locals reported fish falling from the sky, and in 1974, a similar incident captured international headlines.

 The small white fish are believed to be spangled perch, which are very common through much of northern Australia.

 Weather bureau senior forecaster Ashley Patterson said the geological conditions were perfect on Friday for a tornado in the Douglas Daly region.

He said it would have been an ideal weather situation to allow the phenomena to occur – but no tornados have been reported to the authority.

 “It’s a very unusual event,” he said. “With an updraft, (fish and water picked up) could get up high – up to 60,000 or 70,000 feet.

 “Or possibly from a tornado over a large water body – but we haven’t had any reports,” he said.

 Have you seen fish falling from the sky, or know what sort of fish they are? Call 8944 9724 and let us know.


Source: It’s raining fish … no really  by Daniel Bourchier / The Northern Territory News, Darwin, Australia, February 28, 2010. 

Thanks to correspondent Peter Darben for this news tip.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

9 Responses to “Fish Fall At Lajamanu”

  1. SIRUPAPERS responds:

    I always enjoy these stories, and though many believe that these events are caused by tornados (as I do) there does tend to be a lack of confirmed touchdowns associated with the phenomena. Whatever the cause I just like the idea of not having to go fishing for fresh perch.

  2. Jjm3233 responds:

    The only problem with the tornado theory, as has been pointed out many times in other cases, is why only spangled perch? Shouldn’t there be minnows, frogs and every other living creature from the lake in there as well? It boggles my mind to consider a tornado that is picky enough to “rain” spangled perch and nothing else it should have picked up.

  3. cryptidsrus responds:

    I also enjoy these stories as well. Fun and worthwhile studying.


    I get what you are saying. The thing is:

    1) No tornados were reported in the area (per the report), and,

    2) The supposed “tornado” picked up and deposited ONLY fish??? Curious.

  4. Ragnar responds:

    @ Jjm3323,

    While I agree that its unusual for only spangled perch to fall from the sky, I have to note that just because the news report says it was so doesn’t make it so.

    In other words, the presence of other fish/frogs/etc may have been unreported by witnesses or left out by the reporter.

  5. Jjm3233 responds:

    @ Ragnar

    True, but I have read a whole lot of accounts over the years where only one type of animal or species have been dumped by a “tornado.” Of course it may be selective reporting. Or it may not, perhaps we should fly to Australia and find out? 😉

  6. JMonkey responds:

    Very interesting points from all, but we must consider that fish often school which could likely explain the single type fish. The reason turtles, frogs etc. are not often mentioned may be due to the fact that they would not normally be in sufficient quantity to seem out of the ordinary. I am sure every town in Australia has a couple of frogs. I am stumped on the lack of baitfish, especially with the schooling fish theory, because they generally only come close to the surface when chasing baitfish, but I am just trying to rationalize the irrational like everyone else. I have heard of frogs and other animals occurring in this phenomenon as well. Check this link to wikipedia for a little more info. It seems pretty accurate. This link is not bad either for some more info.

  7. charlie23 responds:

    One reason that such anomalies appear to be species-specific could be explained by schooling and surface feeding. If a funnel was centered in a large body of water it would be unlikely to pick up frogs (which would only be found along the edges) or creatures further below the surface. By the same logic, if it was at the water’s edge or in a marshland it wouldn’t be picking up fish.

    Also, this is a fairly remote area and it’s very possible that a short-lived tornado could touch down without being noticed.

  8. bauctrian responds:

    There is a river confluence that meets in such a way that this phenomena is not that uncommon. I forget where, maybe the mouth of the amazon. If anyone recalls.

    And it wasn’t a tornado causing this. But a different type of upflow. The locals can tell when it will happen and get ready with buckets and baskets to gather the fish.

  9. hetzer88 responds:

    Spangled perch are tentatively identified as the fish which fell. But I have read reports about fish falls where no one could identify the fish that dropped from the sky. At least this type of fish fall can be reasonably assumed to be from a certain part of Australia, weather patterns can be calculated and the old tornado theory can be promenaded about. But fish falls that contain unknown fish, of unknown origin, seriously makes me wonder what the heck is going on in the world of Mother Nature!

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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