The sky is falling…
August 13, 2007 3:20 PM Subscribe
(Two part question: part 1 – help me find a reference, part 2 – am I crazy?)
I know I have read somewhere that on rare occasions fish and frogs can be dragged from their watery residences by waterspouts and deposited miles away. There are many references on the web referring to this type of phenomena, but there is a particularly extreme example which I seek…
posted by kmadd to Science & Nature (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The reference that I recall includes the story of a jet that lost an engine due to inhaling a small animal and loosing the engine. When the residue was gathered from the engine in question, the animal which the plane hit at altitude was confirmed to be a small non-flying mammal (squirrel?). Has anyone ever heard of this particularly extreme case of flightless animals at high altitude?
The reason for my sudden interest in this topic is due to a rather strange guest in my yard over the most recent weekend. Sunday morning, after an unusually heavy summer storm (the patio furniture was knocked over for the first time in years) I awoke to let the dogs out, and when I went to let them in and one had a rather large turtle in her mouth (dead).
This was unusual for a number of reasons…
The turtle did not appear to be a terrestrial turtle, such as those commonly kept as pets (Mud or Box). I have had pet turtles as a child and would recognize a familiar species.
The turtle was large enough (7”-8” L, 5”W) that it would have been impossible for it to gain entry through my cedar privacy fence without going over or under it. Which I’m sure a turtle cannot do on its own power. The turtle was also of a size that I have never seen from an aquatic pet turtle. Only in the wild have I seen a turtle of this size.
The turtle shell was partially broken/cracked near one edge, which may have been the dog’s doing, but she is almost never rough with things that are already dead and I doubt that she would try to tear through something so hard. This suggests that there was some forceful impact involved with the turtle entering my yard.
Access to my yard is very limited; from the street side, there is no way someone could have thrown the turtle into the dog area of the property, plain and simple. The fence in the rear is surrounded by neighboring properties, consisting of mostly elderly folks and one young couple, so it is highly unlikely that that a neighbor chucked it over.
I do not live very close to water, or at least far enough that a turtle could have strolled over. There is a small branch of the Chicago river about a mile away, the North Branch of the Chicago river is about three miles away and the Des Plaines river is about three miles in another direction. There are several small lakes and man made bodies of water within a few miles, but none are within a mile and all have obstacles such as train tracks, major streets and bridges that would need to be overcome. I would be hard-pressed to walk directly to a nearby body of water without getting killed and I look both ways.
Am I crazy or did this turtle fall form the sky?
Does this happen with any frequency?
Opinions, thoughts and any personal experiences are appreciated.