This passage discusses scientific explanations for strange things that can happen in nature.

Lexile Level: 1010L

Categories: Science & Technology Animals & Nature

Rain, snow, and hail aren't the only things that fall from the sky. Throughout history, people have reported that fish, frogs, birds, and other small animals sometimes fall like rain. Early cultures thought it was an omen caused by supernatural forces. Although raining animals is an astonishing thing to witness, this meteorological phenomenon is easily explained scientifically. When a whirlwind or tornado passes over a body of water, it can create a strong upward suction and form a waterspout. Fish or amphibians near the surface can be pulled into the waterspout. The same thing can happen to small animals on the ground or birds in the air. Once they are caught up, the small animals can be carried many miles by the force of the winds. When the winds weaken, the animals fall to the ground like rain. Depending on how high and far they were carried, they sometimes return alive, and sometimes, even frozen.

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