When Meat Rained From the Sky

One of the 19th century’s most peculiar events

Calin Aneculaesei
Sep 23 · 3 min read
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Iron furnace in Bath County, Kentucky, the location of the subject of this article. Courtesy of Cumberland District Office

Throughout history events with seemingly unexplainable causes have occurred. Since the dawn of Man, many of these events have been chalked up as an ‘act of God’. Looking back at these recorded events, scientists can now come up with an explanation other than ‘divine intervention.’

Even so, some events still stump scientists to this day. One of these events is perhaps one of the most peculiar events of the 19th century. Today we will look at the time when meat started to rain down from the skies. A phenomenon which scientists struggle to explain to this day.

Bath County, Kentucky

Our story starts in Bath County, Kentucky. Here in the small settlement of Rankin lived the Crouch family. Farmers by trade, both the wife and the husband of the family lived a very active life. On 3 March 1876, Mrs Crouch was outside making some soap for the family when something weird started happening.

At around 11:00 a.m., chunks of meat ranging from two to four inches in diameter started to fall from the sky. This continued on for several minutes until, finally, the meat shower stopped. Both the husband and the wife went on to report the incident to multiple authorities and publications including the still-active New York Times.

The meat which fell during these brief few minutes was described as being mangled and of an unknown origin. Some sources, such as a local hunter, claimed that it was bear meat whereas others claim it was cattle or lamb meat. Although inexplicable, the religious Crouch family saw this as a sign of God and did not investigate the matter further, as such most of the primary information about this event stops here.

Meat samples

Meat samples were taken away by Newark Scientific Association to be studied so a more concrete conclusion could be achieved. Through scientific analysis of meat which has been preserved from the initial event, some semblance of a conclusion can be reached on what exactly happened on the day.

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Meat sample from the fateful day held at the University of Transylvania in Kentucky. Courtesy of Kurt Gohde

According to researchers which handled the analysis of the meat, it is likely that the meat seen by the Crouch’s was lung tissue from either a horse or a human infant. An exact conclusion on its origin couldn’t be made due to the similarity between the lung tissue of the two.

Many theories have come about to explain this event. From more outlandish theories such as divine intervention or involvement of extraterrestrial visitors to more justifiable theories such as the involvement of local wildlife, researches are still not 100% sure what caused this event. The most likely explanation involves vultures.

Vultures have been known to regurgitate their meals to lighten themselves during stressful situations such as when they are in danger. As such, many have theorised that a ‘committee’ of vultures was circling above the area near the Crouch household when something scared them, making the animals regurgitate their latest meal.

Samples of the meat from this event are still preserved at Transylvania University, in Kentucky. Maybe in the future, with the use of better technology, we will be able to use these samples to reach a more concrete and evidence-based conclusion on how and why this event occurred. Until then only theories prevail in the explanation of why meat once rained from the sky.

For any enquiries or comments make sure to contact me at aneculaeseicg@gmail.com.

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Calin Aneculaesei

Written by

Student of Philosophy, Politics and Economics. History fanatic. Contact: aneculaeseicg@gmail.com

History of Yesterday

From the times that the pyramids were raised to the end of the cold war in this publication you will find it all. This is a publication that has been created to tell the stories of forgotten battles and fortunes that have crafted the world that we live in today.

Calin Aneculaesei

Written by

Student of Philosophy, Politics and Economics. History fanatic. Contact: aneculaeseicg@gmail.com

History of Yesterday

From the times that the pyramids were raised to the end of the cold war in this publication you will find it all. This is a publication that has been created to tell the stories of forgotten battles and fortunes that have crafted the world that we live in today.

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