Weather can be unpredictable, but there are a few things we have come to expect- some rain once in a while, the occasional snow fall, maybe even a little hail now and again. On the list of things we don’t expect to see falling from the sky? Chocolate.
Residents in a town in Switzerland, however, saw just that last week when a light dusting of chocolate snow covered their streets and cars in a scene straight out of a fairy tale.
Last week the chocolate company Lindt & Spruengli confirmed that a minor ventilation defect launched cocoa powder into the air outside its facility. The powder came from cocoa nibs, which are the crushed cocoa bean fragments that are used to make chocolate .
Strong winds then caught the powder, causing it to spread across the neighbourhood in the town of Olten, where the factory is located.
No Harm Done
The company said it was a minor incident that did not stop production, nor did it pose any danger to the residents of the town. A picture of a white car dusted with cocoa powder has now been circulated on Twitter, and the company has offered to pay to have the car cleaned .
Weird “Weather” Around the World
Olten, Switzerland is not the only place in the world where strange things have fallen from the sky. Here is a quick round-up of some of the more interesting “weather patterns” the world has seen:
That’s right- fish. In Mexico the “illuvia di pesces” (spanish for “rain of fish”) happens quite frequently- often enough, at least, that they’ve given it a name. This strange phenomena is also known to happen in other coastal regions around the world like California, England, and India.
There are several theories for why this happens, but one is that water spouts, which is when a tornado touches water) occasionally suck up unsuspecting schools of fish and carry them inland .
In 1873 it rained tiny toads in Kansas City, Missouri, after a rainstorm. The cause of this second “rain” is still largely unknown, however many believe it was likely due to a similar reason as the fish. If a strong wind can overturn a car or rip a tree out of the ground, it can probably pick up a few frogs, too .
The 1870’s appeared to have multiple strange weather incidents, because three years after the frog rain, residents of Bath County, Kentucky, got rained on with meat. Some thought the mysterious flakes were mutton, some thought venison, and some were convinced it was bear. One analyst hypothesized that it was not meat at all, but instead a cyanobacteria congealed into a fleshy jelly when exposed to the rain, while still others thought it was buzzard barf.
Whatever it was, the mystery of the meat rain has never been solved .
Occasionally in Australia (where else?) it actually “rains” spiders. This happens when large groups of spiders all engage in a behaviour called “ballooning” at the same time, which is when they climb up to a high area, stick their butts up into the air, release silk and take off .
These are just a few examples of some of the strange things that have fallen from the sky throughout the decades, but one thing is for certain- the people of Olten, Switzerland certainly got the sweeter end of the deal.