Monday, 18 August 2008

It's raining frogs!

I've just learnt of a useful new website Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers which is provided by the US Library of Congress. The website provides searchable digital images from a range of US newspapers for the period from 1890 to 1910. The website can be found here. I was most surprised to find the following story from Cruwys Morchard in The San Francisco Call on 11th September 1910. Enjoy!
Death Ends Croaking When Sun Rises After Storm

LONDON, Sept. 10 – Gloucestershire recently reported the arrival in that section of snakes which milked the cows. Now Jack Ayre of Temple Bottom, near Cruwys-Morchard in Devonshire, reports that after a violent thunder storm he found a long stretch of road covered with thousands of frogs, "which cried like rabbits".

Ayre expresses the opinion that the frogs came down from the sky, and he is supported in his view by another resident of the district, who has had experience of monsoons abroad.

This expert says that in the stillness which precedes monsoons in tropical regions all sorts of creeping things come out of their hiding places and croak. They are often carried up into the air by whirlwinds, and when the monsoons break, down they come again, as appears to have done at Cruwys-Morchard.

It was midnight when Ayre made his discovery. In the morning there were still a number of frogs left but many were dead.

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