We are all aware that rain occurs as a natural phenomenon because of water evaporation on the earth which leads to cloud formation, returning as rain obviously consisting of water. But what if it rains fish? It may sound magical but raining fish in Honduras is a phenomenon that is a natural fact. Come the months of May till July, the city of Yoro experiences heavy rains and not just rains but it rains fish which the people actually cook and eat them up.
Rain fish is a Honduras phenomenon occurring annually since over a century. This phenomenon is also a part of Honduran Folklore known to be taking place from May to July in the Departamento de Yoro.
It has been recorded that the rain fish phenomenon starts with the sky being cast with dark clouds resulting in heavy rains that last for a couple of hours and usually accompanied by strong winds, thunder and lightning. After the rains have stopped a huge number of living fish are found lying on the ground. People make a rush for this fish which they use to cook and eat.
There is a popular song which depicts this phenomenon of rain fish in the Honduras. In fact since the year 1998, the “Festival of the Rain of Fishes” (“Festival de la Lluvia de Peces”) is an annual celebration in Departamento de Yoro in Honduras. In 2006, Abriendo Brecha, a television news program in Honduras has reported that the rain fish phenomenon has of late been taking place twice during the course of a year.
There is a meteorological twist to the occurrence of rain fish taking place due to the presence of strong winds accompanying the rains. The only explanation for the presence of the fish is the location of the mighty Atlantic Ocean about 200 km away. One explanation by scientists is the formation of water spouts and the fish being sucked by the high winds but a definitive explanation hasn't been found yet.
Another explanation for the rain fish phenomenon is that the rain fish are in fact fresh water fish which come from a nearby river and are washed to the ground by water current. A team of professionals sent by National Geographic in 1970 studied that the fish discovered on the land were of a similar size and were not found elsewhere in the surrounding water bodies. Besides the fish were completely blind may be because they were not exposed to light as they inhabited underground rivers.
The rain fish phenomenon is also attributed to be a miracle by father Subirana, to alleviate the prevalent poverty in Honduras. Father Jose Manuel Subirana , worshipped as a saint was a Spanish Catholic missionary who visited Honduras during 1856-1864. See the people suffering in poverty, the Father spent nearly three days and nights in complete prayers seeking God’s mercy to provide food for the poor in Honduras. This resulted in the miracle of the rain fish phenomenon. The rain fish phenomenon is regularly referred to in the missionaries as a means of appeals for funds to help the poor in Honduras.