Last week, Norwegian locals woke to the aftermath of an unusual phenomenon - thousands of earthworms pouring down from the sky. And they weren't dead earthworms, dredged up from wherever they came to their untimely end, their limp carcasses strewn unceremoniously throughout the heavens - these were living, raining, earthworms.
"When I found them on the snow they seemed to be dead, but when I put them in my hand I found that they were alive," Biology teacher Karstein Erstad told European news website, The Local. "In many places, the snow thickness was between half a metre and 1 metre and I think they would have problems crawling through the cold snow."
That was near the city of Bergen, on the west coast of Norway, and there have since been reports of raining earthworms in the nearby cities of Lindås and Suldal, and as far east as the Femunden lake, on the Swedish border.
While no one actually saw the earthworms raining down, masses of them have appeared on the surface of thick layers of snow and ice across the country, and there's no way they got there by burrowing up from the dirt below. Which means they must have ended up on the snow some other way, and experts are thinking they came from above, not below.
It's now thought the earthworms were somehow carried up into the air by strong up-currents of wind - or maybe even a small tornado. "They were then deposited on top of ice many miles away from their original resting place," The New Zealand Herald reports. "The worms may, meteorologists say, have been in the upper atmosphere - almost space worms."
"Typically, you're looking for a huge updraft that could be in the form of something like a tornado. You get them over the sea as well over lakes. So it can pick up living creatures out of the water and transport them; they're called water spouts," chief executive of the UK's Royal Meteorology Society, Liz Bentley, told The New Zealand Herald.
"A thunderstorm has the potential to lift small creatures like worms up from the ground, transport them quite a distance. They can get transported into the upper atmosphere and then, depending on the strength of the wind, [carried] hundreds of miles and then dropped down to earth. It's fairly reasonable for something like this to happen," she added.
Times like these, cats and dogs don't sound too bad.
Source: The New Zealand Herald