ByJess O'Kane, writer at
Big in Japan
Jess O'Kane

Remember Cloudy With a Chance Of Meatballs, the sweet and entertaining children's film?

Well it seems that it might actually be a sinister retelling of true events; at least, if you're one of the poor folk of Olympia Springs, Kentucky who got splattered in the face with pieces of falling flesh in 1876.

While the story is old, the mystery is still baffling and incredibly chilling. More to the point, it's still important to read about it now, for reasons I'll explain later.

The original meat shower

The story goes that on a fine spring day on March 3rd, 1876, a farmer's wife was making soap when she saw a hunk of meat drop from the sky "with a snapping-like noise when it struck." And then another. And another. Until suddenly, hundreds of pieces of flesh were raining down.

The flesh covered an area of about 100 yards, landing on fences, roofs and - yes - people. At the time, nobody could find an explanation for the mysterious meat rain, nor could they identify what meat it was.

A meat sample from Transylvania University, KY
A meat sample from Transylvania University, KY

A local butcher said that it "tasted neither like flesh, fish or fowl. It looked to him like mutton, but the smell was a new one." Samples were sent to scientists all over the state and beyond. One claimed that the meat was definitely of animal origin, while another said it could be the lung of a human infant, "the structure of the organ in these two cases being very similar."

But where did it come from?

Bearing in mind this was 40 years before the invention of the airplane, just how the meat came from the sky was the biggest mystery of all.

Humorist William Livingston suggested that perhaps the meat was that of Kentucky residents who'd been caught in a whirlwind while sharpening their knives "and strewn over their astonished State."

The most accepted theory was that the meat was the vomit of vultures who'd gorged too heavily on a carcass. The volume of meat was probably caused by a chain reaction amongst a flock of vultures:

When in a flock one commences the relief operation, the others are excited to nausea, and a general shower of half-digested meat takes place.

So most likely, the residents of Olympia had been hit by the terrible consequences of bird obesity.

But wait - there's more...

I said earlier that there's a reason you should read about this now. And that's because Kurt Gohde, an Art Professor at Transylvania University in Lexington, is planning to recreate the whole event on March 3rd, 2015.

His mysterious website says only this:

At 2:00 pm on Friday, March 3, 1876, flakes of meat fell from a clear, windless sky at the farm of Allen Crouch, 3 miles south of Olympia Springs in Bath County, KY.
One Hundred and Thirty Nine years later--on Sunday, March 3, 2015--Kurt Gohde will re-seed the clouds over Olympia Springs with meat.

Just why Gohde is choosing to recreate the 'slappening' is unclear, but presumably, the residents of Olympia Springs will be notified in advance this time.

(Source: Mental Floss)


If you could be showered in food, which food would you pick?


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