The Mystery of the Kentucky Meat Shower of 1876



Yes, a “meat shower” is exactly what it sounds like, but it turns out there’s a very simple explanation for what caused it. On a cool March day in Kentucky in 1876, chunks of meat rained down from the sky. The event was witnessed by the wife of a farmer, whose yard was scattered with the chunks of meat — enough to fill a horse wagon full. Locals were puzzled about what could have caused it and tried to determine what kind of meat it was. Guesses ranged from mutton to bear meat, with some neighbors being brave enough to eat it. What it turned out to be was meat that had been consumed by vultures and then vomited. As explained by the Wildlife Conservation Society, meat is heavy and if vultures — who gorge themselves when they do eat — want to fly off quickly but are bogged down by their last meal, the first thing they do is vomit the meat. It’s surmised that a group of vultures, intending to sit a while and digest their meal, were startled, and in order to leave quickly off-loaded their meals the only way they knew how — by vomiting mid-air. It sounds like something from a horror film, but the only thing horrifying about it is what the people who sampled the chunks of vulture vomit thought upon learning what they had consumed.