Fish Rainfall Startles Sri Lankan Village
Small fish fell from sky in Sri Lankan village on Monday bringing delight to the villagers. stock.xchng

A village in western Sri Lanka has been in awe of an unusual event – rainfall of small fish.

The fish rain happened in a village in the district of Chilaw on Monday when villagers saw fish as small as 5 to 8cm falling on the roads and roofs, BBC reported.

The phenomenon took place during a storm and the fish are believed to have been carried away from a river by a strong wind.

The delighted villagers put some of the fish that were still alive at fall in water and ate them later.

According to the report, this is the third such incident recorded in Sri Lanka. People in the south of the country had witnessed prawns raining down in 2012.

Fish rain happens at several places around the world. In fact, occurrences of this meteorological phenomenon involving the fall of fish, frog and birds have been reported from many countries throughout history.

The most recent instance of raining animals within the United Kingdom was reported in 2004 in the village of Knighton, in Powys, Wales, where fish fell from the sky.

According to Met Office, such rainfall of creatures happens when whirlwinds or mini-tornadoes, formed during thunderstorms, pick fish or frogs or any other small creatures, which come in their path over water bodies.

The clouds later on drop these animals along with the rain.

Steve Cleaton, forecaster at BBC Weather Centre, explained in the report: "In the Sri Lankan storm, a tornado probably formed over land, drifted over river systems or coastal waters and sucked up light fish that were lifted all the way into the base of the storm cloud. Later the fish were rained out of the cloud."

However, Cleaton said the likelihood of such fish rain is very less in the USA, where tornadoes are more frequent.

"Tornadoes there [in USA] usually form well away from any mass expanses of water," he said.