Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with. From typhoons and hurricanes to monsoons and tornados, once the dominating diva unleashes her power there's little man can do but hide and wait. With this power comes alarming unpredictability. Since our debut on planet earth, humans have been baffled by bizarre weather occurrences. From raining animals to floating balls of light, wacky weather has convinced man of divine intervention, ghostly apparitions and even alien visitors.
Tornadoes in the UK
Given that our infrastructure grinds to a halt at a mere leaf on a train track, it makes one wonder how we'd ever cope in the face of really extreme weather. Well the answer is that we may not even notice!
The UK experiences up to 50 land tornadoes each year, putting it top of the European league. Of course these mini-twisters are nothing like those which devastate areas of countries like the USA, but they can cause close range havoc. The latest and one of the most destructive occurred in a street in Kensal Rise, North London on 7 December 2006. Six people were injured as trees were uplifted from their roots and 150 houses and many cars were damaged.
The phenomenon of frogs falling from the sky is as real as it is bizarre. Incidences have occurred throughout history, caused by windstorms which suck up frogs when passing over lakes and ponds, and deposit them elsewhere, often many miles away.
Cases of raining frogs have been reported in the UK on several occasions, the most recent occurring in Croydon, South London in 1998, when an early morning rain shower was accompanied by hundreds of dead frogs. This meteorological marvel is not restricted to frogs; fish and birds, have also been known to fall from the sky in similar circumstances.
Like something from a horror movie and the most gruesome of freak weather occurrences is the rain of blood. Reported across the world for thousands of years, we now know red rain is, of course, not actually blood. Instead it can often be explained by the transport of dust from desert regions in high-pressure areas, where it mixes with water droplets.
In July 1968, the south of England experienced a biblical shower which coated everything with sand from the Sahara. More recently, the red rains of Kerela, India, caused controversy when scientists claimed the coloured rain, which fell sporadically from 25 July to 23 September 2001, was actually caused by extra-terrestrial cells.