It seems only natural that early hominids, hunkered in their caves, should come up with the agency of gods and demons to explain such colossal natural phenomena as thunder, lightning, plague, earthquakes and volcanoes. Or such current or formerly unfathomable mysteries as epilepsy, spontaneous human combustion, or the oceanic red tides that can sweep beaches with a glistening holocaust of expired fish.Volcanic lightning like that pictured above is both real and awe-inspiring, but what could be more stupefying than an actual rain of fish or frogs? In Yoro, Honduras, there is a “fish rain” every summer and in 2010, a remote desert town in the Australian outback experienced a rain of speckled perch, an occurrence so specific as to be comical.
Scientists hypothesize that rains of animals are created when the animals are lifted off the ground and into the air by tornados or (over water) by tornadic waterspouts. This does not exactly explain the species specific rains of frogs, say, or speckled perch, nor does it tackle the whyfors of frogs landing whole and apparently unharmed by the experience, as has been reported. On the other hand, I give it more credence than a bizarre and cockeyed intervention from some entity divine or diabolical.
Yet it is astounding to pause and consider just how little we understand about our world and universe. As science progresses, darkness retreats, bit by tiny bit. We can now see into mindbogglingly distant reaches of space and down into particles of infinitesimal size. The light of reason is an awesome thing and the computational power of computers has accelerated its advance.
Still, the darkness surrounding us is a grudging Leviathan. So much so that no one has the slightest idea how far the darkness carries, or even if it has an end. And in the meantime, space spins and floats and dangles from its string theories on and on into the distance of time.