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Natural Phenomenon: Defying Science

Natural phenomena, as the name implies, are not caused or created by humans. They are occurrences in nature that are rare and significant, usually with little scientific explanation. The following are a three of the world’s strangest phenomena:

Raining Fish

Just a few days ago, residents of Loreto, Philippines were stunned when they saw fish falling from the sky during a torrential downpour. The fish, thought to be mudfish fingerlings, were strewn all over the town. Some people even thought that it was an omen from God. Government officials in the Philippines have yet to make a statement, though NASA officials spoke on the issue, stating that it was ‘natural occurrence.’

A natural occurrence, you ask? Yes, there have been multiple occasions when fish have rained down onto community. So is true with frogs, toads, jelly fish, worms, and salamanders. There are a number of theories as to how these animals fell from the sky. One hypothesis suggests that a waterspout, swirling over open water, sucked the creatures up and carried them over dry land.

Fish have also been known to be frozen upon inspection, something that could imply they were in a storm cloud. Nevertheless, if such a theory was true, how come only one species of animal is found during each occurrence? This is a question scientist have yet to answer, proving that there is no concrete explanation.

The Northern Lights a.k.a. Aurora Borealis

Usually seen in the polar regions of the world, the Northern Lights have been capturing the attention of humans for thousands of years. The first record of the Northern Lights dates back around 30,000 years, when one of our Cro-Magnon ancestors painted images on the walls of a cave in what is now Southern France.

Throughout history, the lights have been subject to Inuit, Eskimo, and even Viking folklore. Some Eskimo tribes believe that the flashing colours come from torches held by victims of violent death, illuminating the path for newcomers into the afterlife. Some people believe that by whistling you can bring the lights closer, allowing you to whisper messages to the dead. There was even one man who thought that the green and blue lights were cast from a distant unfrozen sea. He subsequently spent his life looking for such a body of water, to no avail.

It wasn’t until 1490 when the Northern Lights were first referred to in print. In the following centuries, there was no mention or record of the phenomenon. Coincidentally, during that same period no sunspots (a magnetic disruption on the surface of the sun) were seen either. In the 1700s, sightings started to be reported again and scientists scrambled for an explanation. Our modern understanding came to be, as scientist started to use the name Aurora Borealis.

They theorized that the lights seen in the sky were magnetically charged particles thrown by solar wind, hitting the earth’s magnetic field and thus, flaring in a colourful display. To this day, experts hold true to this belief and have actually found evidence to back it up. Though this theory has substantial scientific corroboration, many people around the world still employ ancient folklore and spirituality to determine what they see in the sky.  Book a car rental in Norway and ask a local what he or she thinks causes the dancing green flares in the sky.

Red Rains in Kerala

In July 2001, the residents of Kerala, India were shocked when red rain fell from the sky. The downpours continued for 2 months, leaving some locals frightened for what it could mean. Fearing for the coming of Kali Yuga (a sort of “Hindu Dark Ages”), villagers questioned whether it was a warning from God. In many places, the red colour of the rain was extremely intense. “It was as red as blood,” some locals stated.

Government reports were issued claiming that the phenomenon was a direct result of red dust blowing over from Africa. Unaffected by the reports, Dr. Godfrey Lewis, a physicist wanted to investigate himself. Upon analyzing multiple samples, he determined that the particles in the water were not dust, and that they where in fact cells. Such a finding would suggest that the particles came from something alive and if you ask Dr. Lewis, he’d tell you they were extraterrestrial.

His research continues to this day as experts from all over the world make their hypotheses. One researcher’s studies found that there were traces of DNA, though it was inconclusive. Others have suggested that the cells in the rain were a result of a meteor shower striking a flock of bats. Either way, none of the findings have been widely accepted as the red rains of Kerala continue to be a mystery.

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