Monday, January 16, 2006

"Blame It On The Rain"

Those wise lyrics by the world-renouned music sensation, Milli Vanilli, might ring of some scientific truth, according to a recent article published in Astrophysics and Space Science. Godfrey Louis and A. Santhosh Kumar of Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam, India claim that in July of 2001, blood red rain fell for a period of a couple weeks - and that after careful analysis, the rain contains ALIEN LIFEFORMS.

Nope, this isn't some sci-fi's an actual article published in a peer-reviewed and authoritative scientific journal - in fact, Astrophysics and Space Science has a history of being conservative in its publishing.

On July 21, 2001, there was a meteor airburst event near Changanacherry in the Kottayam district. Many people recall the loud sonic boom during early morning of that day. Just a few hours later, rain the color of blood began to fall. For two months, red rain fell sporadically around the state of Karala in southern India. Scientists first attributed the strange crimson rain to particles swept from the desert or other dust-like material that was carried off by winds and then was dispersed during precipitation. Makes sense to me.

However, “the red rain occurred in many places during a continuing normal rain,” Louis and Kumar write. “It was reported from a few places that people on the streets found their clothes stained by red raindrops. In a few places the concentration of particles were so great that the rainwater appeared almost like blood.” (Real samples are pictured left).

After many rain samples were analyzed, they ruled out the possibility that desert dust airlifted from far away was the cause. “The red rain started in the State during a period of normal rain, which indicate that the red particles are not something which accumulated in the atmosphere during a dry period and washed down on a first rain,” the pair wrote. “The nature of the red particles rules out the possibility that these are dust particles from a distant desert source. And such particles are not found in Kerala or nearby place.”

About 55 tons of the particles came down during that two month period. These particles were analayzed for their chemical make up, and then biological make up. The elemental composition consisted of carbon, oxygen, iron, sodium, aluminum, chlorine, and silicon. Nothing alien there, right?

The biological analysis turned up something very interesting: cells...unusual cells. At first glance, the cells actually resemble red blood cells. The particles look like one-celled organisms and are about 4 to 10 thousandths of a millimeter wide, somewhat larger than typical bacteria. “Shapes vary from spherical to ellipsoid and slightly elongated… These cell-like particles have a thick and coloured cell envelope, which can be well identified under the microscope.” The particles seem to lack a nucleus, the core DNA-containing compartment that animal and plant cells have, the researchers wrote. Chemical tests indicated they also lacked DNA (actual cells are pictured right).

Louis and Kumar added that the particles show “fine-structured membranes” under magnification, like normal cells. The outer envelope seems to contain an “inner capsule,” they added, which in some places “appears to be detached from the outer wall to form an empty region inside the cell. Further, there appears to be a faintly visible mucus layer present on the outer side of the cell.”

That is freaky indeed. Unknown cells with no nucleus, therefore no DNA??? Some believe it might be some sort of alien bacteria. It's quite possible that's the case. Louis and Kumar noted that "even after storage in the original rainwater at room temperature without any preservative for about four years, no decay or discolouration of the particles could be found.”
Bacteria with such survival power are called Extremophiles, and they are able to survive in deep space for long periods of time. Extremophiles - what a great name for a punk rock band.

The scientists' findings might be a strong case towards proving that panspermia is possible. It's the hypothesis involving meteors transporting living extremophiles. Within a meteor, it's possible the right conditions exist to protect such life forms during entry of Earth's atmosphere.

Regardless, strange objects raining down on us is not a new thing. Cases in point:
1877, South Carolina: several one-foot-long alligators fell on J. L. Smith's farm. They landed, unharmed, and started crawling around, reported The New York Times.

1881 Worcester, England: a thunderstorm in brought down tons of periwinkles and hermit crabs.

November 1996, southern Tasmania: Eesidents woke up on a Sunday morning after a night of violent thunderstorms to find a strange, white-clear jelly-like substance on their property. Apparently, it had rained either fish eggs or baby jellyfish.

June 1997, A Korean fisherman, trolling off the coast of the Falkland Islands, was knocked unconscious by a single frozen squid that fell from the sky and konked him on the head. He awoke 2 days later with serious head injuries.

August, 2001, the Wichita, Kansas area experienced an unexplained rain of corn husks. The news report stated that "thousands of dried corn leaves fell over east Wichita - from about Central Avenue to 37th Street North, along Woodlawn Boulevard and on east - each about 20 to 30 inches long."

My personal favorite...

1990, a Japanese fishing boat was sunk in the Sea of Okhotsk off the eastern coast of Siberia by a falling cow. When the crew of the wrecked ship were fished from the water, they told authorities that they had seen several cows falling from the sky, and that one of them crashed straight through the deck and hull.

Frozen squids, corn husks, and makes alien life forms in the rain seem more plausible...


David Amulet said...

And this just in: Record company executives have announced that Fab and Rob from Milli Vanilli were, in fact, beings from another world--one in which life forms are composed of cells with no nuclei and no DNA!

-- david

Ben Heller said...

and ofcourse no talent.

Ben Heller said...

Phoenix. You're the science buff.

Is it physically possible that these weird rainstorms are caused by a tornado in some other part of the world ?

I'm no expert but I will bow to your judgement on this.

siren said...

I wonder if insurance covers head injuries caused by giant squid.

Dirk the Feeble said...

Okay, I was with you until the last picture - then I stopped getting excited about aliens falling from the sky because I was like "Do we really need more weird crap around here?"

Bruce said...

Nothing worse than raining periwinkles...

Sherri said...

Hmmm.... I would have loved to see the cows fall from the sky. How do you not notice live stock floating in a cloud formation?

The Phoenix said...

Whether a tornado or any other sort of air event carried these particles is really irrelevant, in my mind. These particles are still unidentified.

Secondly, the nature of the rainstorms also knocks the tornado hypothesis out. 55 tons came down, in a span of 2 months. So it wasn't like some sort of "stuff" was carried up into the atmosphere and came back down with rain. That would lead to a one time event.

What the heck is a periwinkle anyway?

The falling cows may have been from some Russian helicopter holding cattle. Then again, the reports might all be from an urban legend anyway.

Ben Heller said...

A periwinkle is very similar to a snail. Molluscs are pretty popular in the U.K.

Cockles, mussels, whelks and periwinkles.mmmmm

You can buy them at the fish markets in little pots with vinegar on them and they're tasty.

:P fuzzbox said...

As if bovine flatulance in our atmosphere isn't enough to worry about. Now it's raining bloody aliens. Maybe this is truly the end of days. I am jumping on my snake charmers carhood. She has a bumper sticker that reads, 'In case of Rapture: This car will not be occupied.'

Jim said...

Periwinkle is also two related genera of plants in the family Apocynaceae: Periwinkle (Vinca) and Madagascar Periwinkle (Catharanthus) -- it's those green vines with the little blue flowers that grow in the shade, if you don't have any Phoenix your neighbors probably do.

Could the red rain be the same phenomenon as the deadly red tides? Or brain cells from Milli Vanilli's ex-manager?

The Phoenix said...

Maybe it's the blood of the actual REAL singers Milli Vanilli lip-synched.

Jim said...

you have to wonder what happened to them? actually, they should have become superstars!

Rooty and I went to Missouri yesterday and came back this afternoon. a bank along a creek along MO 100 reminded me that the yellow clay that is found in Franklin County (just west of St. Louis) is identical to the yellow soil that makes the Yellow River in China yellow. do you suppose in some long distant past it rained yellow rain in Franklin County?

Kid Jacque said...

Really, all that is left to be concluded is that we are simply being invaded.

I mean, who's to know if the 55 tons of stuff isn't somehow pieces of one being which could pull together at any given time. Kinda like that one bad guy in the Terminator.

Yup, we are doomed.....

Crazy Dan said...

Better start playing that counrty music its the only thing that can those damned aliens

Laura:) said...

OH MY! How exciting!!!! In times when all we hear about is how this world is coming to an end, we actually get a sign that there is life out there. That is so cool.

There is an urban legend about a scuba diver being dropped onto a rainforest, hundreds of miles from the ocean. But supposedly it was done by a helicopter.

angel, jr. said...

So the song "It's Raining Men" has some validity to it. I've always wondered also the origin of the adage "It's raining cats and dogs".

Jamie Dawn said...

Love this story. I'm feeling all eerie. I remember a scene from Magnolia where a ton of frogs rain down. I wonder if that red rain stained clothing? That would be my main concern. I'll let smarties like you figure out the alien life part of it.
Very intriguing indeed!

Jim said...

Crazy Dan -- we need to find Slim Whitman fast!!!!!

"When I'm calling you-oo-oo oo-oo-oo!
You will answer too-oo-oo oo-oo-oo!"

Indian Love Call
Slim Whitman in Mars Attack (1996).
Jeanette Macdonald & Nelson
Eddy in Rose Marie (1954).

Polyman2 said...

I must run
and tell the King
the sky is falling down...

Godwhacker said...

This Peter Gabriel song seems appropriate...

"I am standing up at the water’s edge in my dream
I cannot make a single sound as you scream
It can’t be that cold, the ground is still warm to touch
This place is so quiet, sensing that storm

Red rain is coming down
Red rain
Red rain is pouring down
Pouring down all over me"

Rabbit said...

You know what? I'd almost rather take the alien life forms red rain over any more snow.

Keshi said...

**When the crew of the wrecked ship were fished from the water, they told authorities that they had seen several cows falling from the sky,

is this for real? goshhh freaky!


The Phoenix said...

The scientific establishment is being very cautious about this paper being published...the one thing they do concede is that the cells are like no other they have seen.

How they got into the atmosphere to rain down - that's another matter. The idea that extra-terrestrial organisms can somehow hitch hike onto a meteor and land onto Earth is a very scary thought.

What if a bacteria that is harmful to humans should make it? Try reading Michael Crichton's "Andromeda Strain." Terrifying stuff.

Jim said...

maybe that's what killed the toads and frogs

delmer said...

I could understand cows dropping from the sky in areas closer to Great Britain.

Especially if Pythons were involved.

Jamie Dawn said...

I'm posting a link to your blog and the Beauty & the Beast blog in tomorrow's post. You deserve to have someone toot your horn for you!

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

How freaky is that....

The Phoenix said...

Jim, Global Warming is to blame. Always.

One of my favorite movie quotes: "I don't want to talk to you, no more, you empty-headed animal, food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. You mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries."

Thanks Jamie Dawn...I appreciate that.

One theory is that the cells are from some type of unidentified or alien spores.

BrianAlt said...

I've heard of these reports before. It's rained fish in places also. The explination was always that some weather related phenomena picked up the water and the fish and deposited them somewhere else. This is plausable.

BUT! Cows? Cows weigh a lot! TO have them picked up by some updraft and fall from the sky, hard to believe. If it could happen to cows it should also happen to humans, and we just haven't seen this.

As for the 'Red Rain'. Hmm, Peter Gabriel, Red rain is falling down, red rain... Well maybe it was promotial material for his album? But hey, if this stuff could exist in Zero-G, then it really could travel through space. Maybe frozen, thawing when it hit the Earth's atmosphere. Really could happen. We're constantly bombarded by ice shards from 'outer space'. If these ice shards were made of red blood cells it would rain red blood cells. Um, I guess.

Denny Shane said...

Could these falling objects be remnants of a tornado? Shrug

The Phoenix said...

The strep bacteria survived the trip to the moon and back. Bacteria have been found in ice cores a mile deep in the Arctic. And there are types of bacteria that are radiation resistant, and super heat resistant.

It's quite plausable that Earth is bombarded by alien life every single day.

Doug said...

The picture at the bottom makes you wish for alien rain.

Jamie Dawn sent me.

Laurie said...

Woooooooowwww... that's fascinating stuff, especially the pics of the cells.

Eve said...

Ohh, the last picture. I so scaaaaaaaared! =O

The Phoenix said...

The picture at the bottom makes me wish for very large hailstones to come down from the heavens.

The pics of the cells are pretty amazing, and the pic of the couple wearing the transparent ponchos...that's the scariest of them all.

PDD said...

Yes, I've heard more or less the stories you have described in this post.

Have you heard of the one where it rained frogs... or was it toads? Anyway, one of the two.

Yes, as far as I know, the only hypothesis they have come to thus far is the disbursement during percipitation. I remember reading something about how fish, squid etc get up into the clouds, but I can't remember now.

Does this mean perhaps someday it will rain Jesus Christ and his angels? Will they fall straight to exothermic hell? Will Satan feel as though his space has been impeded on? Or will he take pleasure in torchering the many members from heavens gate?

By the way, do not reduce my existence to a punk rock band title - I am an extremophile.

PDD said...

By the way, I love David and ben's comments. But I have to admit they are the only comments I have read so far. I'm at work. It's hard to blog and work at the same time.

PDD said...

Oh, one more question I forgot: Would cloud nine become cloud zero?

(or given the laws I have supplied above, would it transfer a negative?)

The Phoenix said...

I'm thinking cloud 9 suddenly becomes cloud -666.

Jim said...

I thought the picture at the bottom was Phoenix -- I thought the last picture of every post was Phoenix, as a running joke.

when they originally built the World Trade Center Towers, asbestos rained down on London, that's how far things can travel in the atmosphere

The Phoenix said...

That stuff was from the WTC disaster? I thought it was the ashes from all those chain smokers in France.

Jim said...

because the prevailing wind is from the west, the French smokers are actually killing the Germans, who fortunately are too drunk to notice.

if there is a nationality we have not offended, let Phoenix know!!!! :)

The Phoenix said...

I hear Spaniards are stuck up.

Anhoni Patel said...

I just knew that India was going to be the center of an alien takeover of Earth. It makes total sense. Oh, and it's spelled "Kerala" not "Karala".

Jim said...

and those annoying Swiss are always telling you what time it is

David Amulet said...

And the Belgians are so indecisive--they can NEVER make up their minds about anything. Back and forth, back and forth all the time.

In other words, Belgians waffle.

-- david

The Phoenix said...

The Swedes are good at ping pong, but they always lose to the Chinese. I think it's beginning to get under their fair skin.

PDD said...

As everyone knows, the Italians are "one gear forward, five in reverse"...

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