Residents of a village in Australia were witness to some strange weather last week. The village of Lajamanu in the Northern Territory saw hundreds of small white fish believed to be Spangled perch (Leiopotherapon unicolor) fall from the sky twice in a week.
Christine Balmer who first reported this phenomenon and who took the picture of the fish in the bucket is quoted in the local news saying:
"It rained hundreds and hundreds of fish in Lajamanu on Thursday and Friday night, they fell from the sky everywhere. Locals were picking them up off the footy oval and on the ground everywhere.
"These fish were alive when they hit the ground,” she added.
Lajamanu sits on the edge of the Tanami Desert, around 100 miles from the nearest lake and over 200 miles to the sea. Despite this, the community has been affected by falling fish twice before.
In 2004, locals reported fish falling from the sky, and in 1974, a similar incident captured international headlines.
Local weather forecasters said that events like this sometimes happen when creatures are sucked up by tornados or updrafts, taking them up to 40- 70,000 ft into the air and then dumping them. However they were keen to stress that although the geological conditions were perfect for a tornado in that region, none had been reported.
Spangled perch, also known as Spangled grunter, Jewel perch, or Trout cod are abundant throughout Australia and typically grow up to 20cm in length. They have wide ranging tolerance for environmental conditions being able to put up with temperatures from 5- 44°C, salinity from pure fresh water through to seawater and pH from 4 right through to 8.6.