Residents in the British city of Coventry were left puzzled when approximately 100 apples fell from the sky, over the Keresley area of the city, at 7 p.m. GMT, on Monday.
The storm of fruit lasted only a few minutes but hit passing vehicles and fell on houses; this is the second such bizarre incident in a matter of 14 days. The storm is all the more mysterious because there are apparently no apple orchards in the area, a BBC report states.
Fortunately, the falling fruits have not caused any injuries, apart from damaging a few cars, parish councilor Sandra Camwell said. Weather experts believe the fruit could have been carried by strong winds from orchards in outlying areas. However, there is as yet no official explanation of the incidents.
A blogger for Yahoo News wrote saying the shower left about 20 yards of city streets and car windshields covered in smashed apple pulp.
At first I thought it was kids, but there were too many apples and they were crushed as if they'd fallen from a great height, the BBC report quoted Dave Meakins, 63, who lives near the junction of Kelmscote Road and Keresley Road, as saying. Meakins also added some apples were large and looked like cooking apples.
Cars and houses have been swept up by tornadoes, so apples are well within the realms of possibility. A tornado which has swept through an orchard will be strong enough to 'suck up' small objects like a vacuum [cleaner]. These small objects would then be deposited back to earth as 'rain' when the whirlwind loses its energy, explained Dr. Lisa Jardine-Wright, a physicist at the Cavendish Laboratory, which is based at Cambridge University, to the BBC.
The BBC report also quoted Charles Powell, forecaster for the Met Office as saying this was not the first time such an incident has happened and that it was not impossible for strong winds to lift the apples and carry them over to Keresley.
It looks as if it was fairly strong wind as that band of cloud and rain went through. The wind increased rapidly. When a cold front goes through in many instances wind can increase rapidly and you see localized events with fairly large gusts and rapid changes in wind direction, he added.
Meanwhile, as a humorous anecdote, the Yahoo blogger pointed out the incident was not dissimilar to the biblical story of the sky raining frogs. On a more serious note, though, the blogger also added witnesses reported the weather in the Coundon area of Coventry city was stable and calm at the time of the shower.
Incidentally, as difficult as the incident is to explain, similar cases have been recorded in the past. Frog falls were recorded in Llanddewi, Powys, in 1996 and two years later in Croydon, south London. In 2000, hundreds of dead silver sprats fell out of the sky during a rainstorm, in the seaside resort of Great Yarmouth. There have also been maggot downpours - in Acapulco in 1967 and during a yachting event at the 1976 Olympic Games.