"And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me. And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs: And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs: And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants. And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt. And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt."
Amphibians from the sky are not just some biblical plague, some deus ex machina for a movie you happened to like, or an old wives' tale. Frogs fall from the sky, if not every year, then often enough that the phenomenon cannot be ignored or written off.
In August, 1804 near Toulouse, France, a
"tremendous number of little toads, one to two months old...were seen to fall from a great thick cloud that appeared suddenly in a sky that had been cloudless".
In 1844, so many frogs fell on Sittingbourne, Kent, that a local clergyman said that, when he held out his hat, it was filled with the creatures in under three minutes. Newspapers compared the fall with the rain of toads on Acle, Norfolk, in 1653. On July 12, 1873, as reported in Scientific American,
"A shower of frogs which darkened the air and covered the ground for a long distance is the reported result of a recent rainstorm at Kansas City, Mo."
London newspapers reported that on August 17,1921 innumerable little frogs appeared during a thunderstorm in the northern part of London. Mrs S. Mowday went to see a Royal Navy display on the Meadow Platt in Sutton Park, near Birmingham, on June 12th, 1954, and recounted:
"I attended the display with my young son and daughter. It was a Saturday and there were frequent heavy showers...We tried to shelter from a shower under the trees...when we were bombarded by tiny frogs, which seemed to come down with the rain. There were literally thousands of them. They descended on our umbrellas, on us and we were afraid to walk for fear of treading on them." A British frog fall also occured in October 1987, when large numbers of rose coloured albino frogs fell on several occasions around Stroud, Cirencester and Cheltenham. Similar frogs, described as "pinkish in colour with an almost transparent skin," fell on Croydon in March 1998.
Explanations vary, but few are satisfactory. Some suggest that waterspouts and tornados occasionally pick up a liter or two of fertilized frogs' eggs and then hang in the humid summer sky for weeks as the tadpoles mature, nurtured in warm vapor and suspended by steady high-altitude winds. The right kind of front moving north across Africa could pick up very young frogs in the jungles and drift north with them at high altitude to dump them on England. Sneff tells me that "the waterspout picks up the entire contents of ponds, small lakes etc and lifts them into the sky." To the more closed-minded, it may seem more believable that large hail fell, and then after the hail melted, bystanders noted frogs on the ground, revelling in the moist soil. Does any of these explanations satisfy you completely? Do any of them sound like something that could cause a hat to fill in three minutes of sustained amphibian precipitation?
It is in the humble opinion of this narrator that this is not just "something that happens." This cannot be "one of those things." This, please, cannot be that. And for what I would like to say, I can't. This was not just a matter of chance--these strange things happen all the time.