sábado, 31 de octubre de 2009

The "Rain of Fish" in Yoro, Honduras

The "Rain of Fish” is a very strange and interesting Natural Phenomenon that takes place in Honduras every year, between the months of May and August. Witnesses of this phenomenon say that it begins with a dark cloud on the horizon, which breaks into a heavy rain. The heavy downpour can last up to three hours. Once the rain has stopped out of no where appear dozens of small live fish right there on the fields, flapping in the rain water. People gladly scoop up the fish and carry them home to cook and eat. Since 1998 a festival known as "Festival de la Lluvia de Peces" (Rain of Fish Festival) is celebrated every year in the city of Yoro, Departamento de Yoro, Honduras.

In the 1970’s, National Geographic sent professionals to report on this world wonder. They discovered that all the fish are not sea water fish, but fresh water fish, approximately the same size, around 6 inches, and completely blind. They identified the species but the type of fish is not found elsewhere in the area. Their theory was that these fish are from underground rivers, never exposed to light and thus blind. How they come to appear with a storm is still a mystery.

Some people believe these fish do not fall from the sky as no fish fall on the roof of any house in the district. Instead, they think that these fish swim from a nearby river into a subterranean water current. Some of the fish then leave this current and appear on the ground inland.

The locals don't feel like they need an explanation, or at least not a scientific one, anyway they believe the phenomenon is simply a miracle. Many people believe this phenomenon occurs because of Father José Manuel Subirana, a Spanish catholic missionary, whom many Catholics (especially those in Honduras) consider to be a Saint, though he was never given Sainthood by the Church. During his mission in Honduras from 1856-1864, legend tells, Father José was so troubled and moved by the poverty that he witnessed there that he fell into a fevered prayer that lasted for three days and three nights, where he asked the Lord for a miracle to provide food for the people. The prayer ended with the miraculous rain of fish, which has occurred ever since yearly.

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