"Blame It On The Rain"
Nope, this isn't some sci-fi story...it'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 cows...it makes alien life forms in the rain seem more plausible...