1859, February 9: Fish Fall on 80 Yard Strip of Land

On February 9, 1859, fish fell during a rainstorm at Mountain Ash, Glamorganshire, in Wales. At 11 AM during a heavy rain, while a stiff gale was blowing from the south, a "very large number" of fish fell onto the fields and housetops. Many people witnessed the fish falling. My source for this event, the Annual Register for 1859, included a statement by a sawyer named John Lewis describing what he saw:

        "On Wednesday, February 9, I was getting out a piece of timber, for the purpose of setting it for the saw, when I was startled by something falling all over me — down my neck, on my head, and on my back. On putting my hand down my neck I was surprised to find they were little fish. By this time I saw the whole ground covered with them. I took off my hat, the brim of which was full of them. They were jumping all about. They covered the ground in a long strip of about 80 yards by 12, as we measured afterwards. That shed (pointing to a very large workshop) was covered with them, and the shoots were quite full of them. My mates and I might have gathered bucketsful of them, scraping with our hands. We did gather a great many, about a bucketful, and threw them into the rain-pool, where some of them now are. There were two showers, with an interval of about ten minutes, and each shower lasted about two minutes or thereabouts. The time was 11 AM. The morning up-train to Aberdare was just then passing. It was not blowing very hard, but uncommon wet; just about the same wind as there is to-day (blowing rather stiff), and it came from this quarter (pointing to the S. of W.). They came down with the rain in 'a body, like."

        A Mr. Griffith collected 13 or 20 living specimens of the fish and gave them to Professor Owen. The three largest were four inches long. Some, which died after capture, were fully five inches in length.

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