Aug 16, 2016 I Paul Seaburn

Fish Fall From the Sky in Northern Scotland

When reports of fish falling from the sky come from Scotland, the first inclination is to check the ground for empty bottles of Scotch. Videos of the recently reported incident in Aberdeenshire show no signs of alcohol influence … just plenty of fish mysteriously covering the yard of a man looking for answers.

It's a really strange phenomenon.

Aberdeenshire resident Kevin Bain is not talking about the U.S. presidential election but about the 75 fish he found in his back yard on the morning of August 11th. He says he first noticed them when he looked out of his bathroom window but at that time thought there were bird feathers and ignored them. Bain’s residence in the town of Banff is about 0.5 km (0.3 miles) from the Banff Bay in Northern Scotland, so a yard full of seagull feathers would not be too mysterious.

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What appears to be a sand eel that fell from the sky in Northern Scotland

Except these weren’t seagull feathers. Bain says he returned from his job as a council worker that evening and saw the shiny objects still in his garden, so he did what any good council worker would do and sent his wife out to investigate.

It was a line of fish, probably about 10 to 15 ft long strewn across the patio and into the back garden. It was so strange. I originally thought seagulls could have been carrying them and dropped them. But my wife counted at least 75 of them.

When he finally went to look for himself, Bain examined the two-inch long fish and speculated they were sand eels – a common small fish (not an eel) that are food for many seabirds and are heavily harvested for animal feed and fertilizer. Not knowing what exactly the fish were, Bain did what any good government worker would do – he posted a video on the Internet and asked if anyone knew what they might be and how they ended up in his garden.

Most people agreed the fish looked like sand eels. However, that calls into question Bain’s own theory as to how they ended up in his yard

It has been stormy for the past few nights, so it's possible that a water spout has lifted the fish from the sea during the bad weather.

Sand eels get their name from the fact that, when confronted with predators or adverse weather conditions, they build sand castles for protection. Not really, but they do burrow deep into the sand to hide. Waterspouts are known to pick up any creatures floating in the waters they pass over and deposit them on land, sometimes hundreds of miles from shore. Bain’s sand eels were close to shore and were not covered with sand. Were they caught by surprise by a waterspout before they could hide or is there another reason for their appearance on Bain’s patio.

Whatever the cause, his wife hopes the fish rain has stopped because she’s tired of counting them for her husband.

Paul Seaburn
Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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