Sinkholes, Spiders and Birds… Oh My: 5 Recent Cases of Strange Phenomena

Image credit Foxtongue
Reports out of Chicago yesterday confirmed that a massive sinkhole had opened on the Southeast side of the city, swallowing three cars. Evidently, the combination of a massive rainstorm and a broken 100-year-old water main were to blame for the event, but this is just one several recent cases of sinkholes. While geologists claim the incidents are perfectly natural and no more frequent now than they’ve been in the past, others have taken it as an ominous sign. Maybe they’re nothing, or maybe we as a human race are finally reaping the cosmic consequences of letting The Jersey Shore run for six hit seasons.

5 Odd Flight Patterns

If throngs of dead fish don’t seem strange enough for you, maybe thousands of birds falling dead out of the sky will do the trick. Another odd phenomenon that seems to be occurring every few months, perhaps the strangest case happened in early January 2012, when roughly 5,000 blackbirds celebrated the New Year by dropping dead from the sky over Arkansas. Lightning strikes, fireworks, and hailstorms were all theorized as possible causes, though no one considered that maybe the birds were just sick of living in Arkansas.

4 Free Bait

It may just be unjustified paranoia, but it feels like the news in recent years has been slightly more full of mass fish deaths than it used to be, doesn’t it? The most recent occurrence happened just a few months back in January, when a mile and a half stretch of South Carolina beach was littered with the bodies of roughly 40,000 menhaden fish that had evidently fell victim to a lack of oxygen in the water. The smelly hoard was discovered by beachgoers who were planning on taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather, but were instead greeted by an unseasonably ridiculous amount of fish carcasses.

3 Parking Lot Geysers

Geysers are a natural and accepted occurrence in nature. The only thing is, you won’t normally see them popping up in the middle of a crowded parking lots. Last week in Smolensk, Russia however, that’s exactly that happened. What started off looking like a small cloud of steam, eventually erupted into a full-on Old Faithful-like hot water geyser, shooting water, steam and large chunks of pavement hundreds of feet into the air. It was all captured on video, the best part of which is the fact that people continued to casually look for parking spots while it was happening.

2 It’s Raining Spiders

The residents of the Brazilian town of Santo Antonio de Platina witnessed what seemed like a terrifying weather phenomenon back in February, when the sky over their small town appeared to be raining spiders. Like something straight out of an ‘End of Days’ movie, massive swarms of arachnids appeared to be falling from the sky. Scientists later confirmed this was actually a rare species of social spiders, whose massive sheet-like webs were actually just caught in the wind, which incidentally, doesn’t seem all that much less worthy of a pants-crapping.

1 Sinkholes Galore

While the Chicago case may be the latest one, it is hardly the only sinkhole to speak of. The odd phenomenon has been all over the news lately, with holes opening up in Florida, Washington, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania as well. The most extreme case actually killed a man, when a sinkhole opened beneath a bedroom his in suburban Tampa, Florida home. Other recent cases have drained an entire duck pond overnight and even swallowed up a golfer who was lucky to escape with only a dislocated shoulder.