10 Awe-Inspiring Weather Phenomena

Added by Edan Barak on Feb 27, 2016

The phrase “it's raining cats and dogs” might be a well-known yet unlikely idiom – but it's not totally off the mark. There are reported cases of fish and frogs raining from the sky, as well as ice bombs attacking earthlings from above. This list takes a look at these strange and rare varieties of weather, some of which you might know only from myth and legend.

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Red rain

As if straight out of a sci-fi movie, red blood rain fell between July and September 2001 in Kerala, India, as well as in November 2012 in Sri Lanka. Whichever way you look at it, seeing blood red drops fall from the sky is a scary phenomenon, but easily explained with science: the source is not blood, but rather chemical - the presence of bacteria or red soil particles. The latter can be from deserts, carried away by dust storms and coloring rain drops red. Usually the exact reasons for this phenomenon need to be researched as they can differ between geographic locations and seasons. Still, many people choose to believe that red rain is a result of extraterrestrial activity, and that does make it seem a lot more ominous.

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St. Elmo’s fire

Famous seafarer and explorer Christopher Columbus experienced the St. Elmo’s fire during one of his journeys, and in fact the phenomenon has a rich history among sailors who were said to experience a religious awe as they gazed into the inexplicable fire. Today, we know that the St. Elmo’s fire is not related to fire at all – instead, it is the result of a gap in electrical charge giving the illusion of a burning flame atop a sharp object (i.e. ship masts). Because this phenomenon was so regularly observed by sailors during thunderstorms, it was named after the patron saint of sailors, St. Elmo. The flames associated with St. Elmo’s fire are not red like fire flames, but rather shades of blue or violet.

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