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Showers of Organic Matter

With the sudden interest in dead birds falling from the sky, following the apocalyptic death of thousands of red-winged blackbirds in Beebe, Arkansas, on New Years Eve 2010, you may have overlooked an old scholarly report on the subject, titled ‘Showers of Organic Matter’ by Waldo L. McAtee, published in Monthly Weather Review 45 (May 1917): 217-224. The first sentence sets the tone:

“The idea of organic matter and particularly of living things raining down from the sky, on first thought, is hard to entertain.”

Then follow descriptions of numerous cases of hay, jelly, honey, sugar, wheat, insects, worms, frogs, toads, fish, salamanders and a gopher turtle pouring down from the sky. Strangely there is only one description of a shower of dead birds. Read about the famous 1896 Baton Rouge Bird Shower here or there.

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