"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Newspaper Clipping of the Day

Mysterious "fish rains" are a dime a Fortean dozen, but tales of falling fish bones are an interesting twist.  The "Eufaula Weekly Times," July 18, 1872 (via Newspapers.com):

If the statement of some of the residents of Louisiana are to be credited, Dame Nature has recently been playing strange pranks in that part of the country. A writer to the New York Journal of Commerce, whose veracity and good standing is vouched for by the editor of that paper gives the following particulars of a strange phenomenon that occurred in Carroll parish last month: 

He says that a heavy storm visited that parish some days previous to the date of writing, the 21st, and during the storm fish bones fell to the ground by the million. These bones seemed to come from an exceedingly large black cloud that was passing at the time. The shower of bones was attended by a heavy fall of rain. 

The correspondent says the bones rattled on the roof of his house like hail stones. This strange phenomenon extended over a belt of country ten miles in width by many miles in length. Accompanying the letter was seven of the bones, varying from one inch to two inches and one sixteenth in length, from seven sixteenths of an inch to twelve and a half sixteenths of an inch in breadth, from one inch to one inch and nine-sixteenths in length, and from one and a half to three sixteenths of an inch in thickness. 

They are of an irregular diamond shape. One side of the bones is nearly flat, having on the under side, which is worn smooth, three small apertures, as if veins or tendon had passed through them. 

These specimens have been shown to experienced coast fishermen and also to learned ichthyologists, but they are not able to ascertain to what particular kind of fish the bones belonged. They all agree, however, in the opinion that they are veritable fish bones. 

Several theories have been advanced in explanation of this strange phenomenon. It is generally conceded, however, that the bones must have passed through the air for hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of miles. The inhabitants of the parish believe that they were brought by a water spout or a whirlwind from the western coast of Mexico or Lower California, across the continent, as the wind was blowing at the time violently from the southeast. We have heard of its raining cats and dogs but fishbone showers are some thing altogether unprecedented.

1 comment:

  1. There was no word on whether the bones were bones when they were picked up (from a fish-cannery?) or whether the unfortunate fish were rendered that way while flying...


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