There were Biblical scenes in southern Norway this week after a spate of bad weather saw thousands of earthworms deposited from the skies.
Biologist Karstein Erstad was the first to come across a cluster of the burrowing anelids during a hike in Bergan NRK media reports.
Erstad told the channel: “It was earthworms wherever I went. There must have been thousands. I was surprised, this was no ordinary experience.”
Speaking to The Local, he added: “When I found them… they seemed to be dead, but when I put them in my hand I found they were alive.”
Aft first Erstad wondered if the creatures had crawled through the snow from the ground but then decided: “In many places, the snow thickness was between half a meter and a meter and I think they would have problems crawling through the cold snow.”
After Erstad’s odd experience came to light – indeed it is one he was only able to research as occurring once before in Sweden in the 1920s, several other identical experiences have been reported across the south of Norway.
So why is it raining worms?
The BBC ventures: “No one is entirely sure but it’s thought the worms, starting to emerge from the ground towards the end of winter, were swept up by the wind.
“In the mountainous Norwegian coastline they quickly caught thermals – rising pockets of warm air more commonly used by birds of prey to circle – and were carried up to the sky.”