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Blood-Sucking Fish Are Raining From the Alaskan Sky

What the hell is happening in Fairbanks, Alaska?
June 10, 2015, 9:03pm
Pacific lamprey. Image: Flickr/USFWS - Pacific Region

Strange things are happening in the city of Fairbanks, Alaska. For example, eel-like fish with fleshy toothed funnels for mouths keep falling from the sky.

According to local reports, arctic lampreys have rained down without warning four times in the last two weeks. One landed on the windshield of a car containing a little boy—who looked totally fucking terrified—in a Value Village parking lot, and another landed on some dude's lawn, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG).

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Okay, so, this is completely horrifying. Yes. But what, exactly, is going on?

According to the ADFG, arctic lampreys spawn in the muddy bed of the nearby Chena river. Even though they're native to Alaska, residents probably don't normally see them because juvenile lampreys live in the mud and then migrate under the ice. People there do eat them, though, as do their sled dogs.

Sea gulls also think that the fanged little river snake-fish are pretty tasty, and that's why they pluck them out of the river.

"Gulls are picking them out of the Chena River with their bills and then dropping the squirming critters while in flight," wrote the ADFG in a Facebook post.

This is actually the second time that terrifying creatures raining down from the sky has made news around the world in the last month. In May, residents of Australia experienced millions of spiders floating down through the air, covering everything with their white silk. Holy fucking fuck, right? Right. The explanation there was pretty boring too, though: some species of spiders leap off high trees and use their silk as a parachute to migrate.

I guess the lesson here is that life is hell, but don't freak out about it. Just put that lamprey in a bucket of water and move on.