What Was the Most Bizarre Weather Event of the 19th Century?

On This Page
Article Details
  • Last Modified Date: 20 February 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
In Disney theme parks, the photos of Walt Disney in which he is smoking have been altered to remove the cigarettes.  more...

June 4 ,  1989 :  The massacre in Tiananmen Square occurred, ending weeks of protests.  more...

In many parts of the world, extreme weather events seem to be occurring more regularly, from flash floods and heat waves to powerful tropical storms and severe snowstorms. Yet in terms of unusual weather, it would be hard to point to something stranger than what happened in Bath County, Kentucky, on the afternoon of March 3, 1876. In an incident popularly known as the "Kentucky meat shower," the sky over an ordinary Kentucky farmhouse suddenly rained down small pieces of what appeared to be meat. The falling meat, mainly pieces around 2 inches by 2 inches (5 cm by 5 cm) in size, covered an area of around 100 yards by 50 yards (91 m by 46 m), and was noticed by one Mrs. Allen Crouch, who was making soap on her porch at the time. The phenomenon attracted the attention of scientists, journalists, and many other interested individuals, some of whom even tasted the meat, describing it as tasting like mutton or venison, although most people said it looked like beef. Soon after the incident, some of the meat flakes were analyzed and identified as lung tissue, muscle, and cartilage. Although the cause of the event has never been conclusively explained, the most widely accepted theory is that the meat had been regurgitated by some vultures flying far above. Strange as that may seem, projectile vomiting is a documented vulture behavior. Vultures regurgitate their last meal either as a defense mechanism or to make themselves light enough to fly, and when one starts vomiting, others quickly join in.

Making sense of the "Kentucky meat shower":

  • Another theory popular shortly after the event was that the so-called meat was actually a colony of cyanobacteria known as Nostoc, which expands to a gelatinous mass when it comes into contact with water. However, many have pointed out that there was no evidence of rain that day.

  • Mrs. Crouch described the flecks of meat as falling like snowflakes. She and her husband thought that the strange event could be a sign from God. Nevertheless, their cat apparently helped himself to the unexpected feast.

  • A piece of the mystery meat is preserved in the collection of the Monroe Moosnick Medical and Science Museum at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky.

You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post 1

Have they tested whether it's got human DNA in it?

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?