Mysterious Fish Rain Investigated in Iran

It’s the classic Fortean phenomenon – fish or other non-flying creatures falling from the sky. The occurrences are generally more interesting to those following strange news stories and are usually attributed to flooding or high wind conditions transporting lightweight fish from a nearby body of water. That might have been the case when a large number of flopping fish were found recently on a road in Golpayegan, Iran, but it puzzled the local media enough to do some serious real investigation. Journalism lives!

Farda News (translated by Google) reported the story under the headline: “What was the story of the rainfalls from Isfahan sky?” The “large number” of fish were discovered on a road in Golpayegan in the Isfahan province in central Iran. Golpayegan means “fortress of flowers” and “land of tulips” but the flowers must be hardy because the average annual rainfall is only 11 inches (300 mm). It was raining the day the fish were found, but those occurrences may not be related, as a correspondent from the Mehr agency investigating the mysterious fish discovered.

An old Caravanserai (roadside inn) in Golpayegan

In the interest of being a fair-and-balanced Fortean, the reporter proposed four scenarios that could have caused this strange fish appearance (video here). The first was that the small fish were dumped there by a truck delivering them, possibly to stock a nearby lake. However, the number of fish on the road, while unusual, did not seem like the amount a truck would be transporting from a fishery, and the police had no reports of any truck accidents. Not giving up on that line of thinking, the reporter speculated that a car might be carrying a barrel of fish – not as dry or as much fun as a barrel of monkeys and certainly not a good way to transport fish, especially since it’s illegal – that tipped over on a curve and spilled the fish. How did they get out of the car and into the road? Where was the car?

Those questions led to theory number two: a lake in a forest near the road flooded due the recent rainfall. While that seemed reasonable, local environmental experts were said to reserve judgment until they had more evidence, like pictures of the flooding.

The third hypothesis is similar to the second – flooding of the Ghebla River brought the fish to the road. This one is less likely since the river is farther from the site and again, no pictures of flooding were taken.

A river in Golpayegan County

That leave the Fortean idea of fish rain. There were no reports of high winds or tornadoes that could have lifted the fish from the river or lake, and no one saw the fish falling out a cloud or a portal in the sky.

That’s a pretty thorough investigation … with no conclusion. The video shows the fish mostly on one side of the road, which would sway the jury towards a vehicle spill, but the local authorities are leaning towards flooding. Is there some sort of coverup of illegal fish transporting?

Whatever the cause, the fish rain proves once again that people are alike around the world. Cars stopped, people looked around, picked up the fish and headed home for a seafood dinner.

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