In honor of Discovery Channels beloved shark week beginning August 4 and the recent hit SyFy television movie “Sharknado,” Arizona Science Center is exploring the scientific possibility of a real life animal tornado.
MNN reports that animal tornadoes are a real possibility and animals such as alligators have actually been documented as falling from the sky, however, no sharks have been recounted (with the exception of the flick “Sharknado”).
As for the alligators, according to a story from 1887, a South Carolina man was showered by eight alligators falling from the sky. No story quite as horrifying has been reported and was likely to have been cause by a strong waterspout versus a tornado.
A “Jellynado” in Bath, England in 1894 might also give you nightmares. Thousands of stinging jellyfish were dropped from the sky according to reports.
In 2010, Australian residents were rained upon with hundreds of spangled perch fish. “Fishnado,” which Meteorologists believe was due to a tornado that sucked up the river water and fish, later dumped the fish hundreds of miles away in the town of Lajamanu. Similar events have been reported in California in 2006 with waterspouts being to blame.
A waterspout is a vortex that occurs over a body of water (typically appearing as a funnel-shaped column). While a waterspout is weaker than most land tornadoes, stronger versions produced by mesocyclones can occur. Although waterspouts do not suck up water, they can be strong enough to lift objects within its current over land such as fish and small insects.