The skies just opened up a can of worms, quite literally, as a viral clip shows 'worm rain' falling from above in China. If you're squeamish, look away now...
People have been left baffled by the footage, which shows a row of parked cars absolutely covered in what looks like slimy creatures.
What makes the clip even more incredible is that as new 'worms' rain down from the sky, passersby continue going about their days, with one woman seen holding an umbrella.
The phenomenon unfolded in the Chinese province of Liaoning, which borders North Korea – but if the Hermit Kingdom experienced the unusual shower, there's no way we'll ever find out about it.
Right now, Chinese authorities are yet to comment on the situation, but experts have been busy putting forward their theories as to why this happened.
One suggestion is that the supposed 'worms' are actually poplar flowers, which bloom into long catkins that resemble furry caterpillars.
As explained by one person on Twitter: "These are not worms or animals, but flower stalks dropped from trees."
Another wrote: "The things that fall from poplar trees in spring are not caterpillars, but inflorescences of poplar trees. When poplar flower spikes start to fall, it means that they are about to bloom."
Others argued the worms could have been swept up by strong winds before landing in Liaoning, something that's happened numerous times in the past.
Residents in Texarkana, East Texas, were left equally baffled when shoals of fish began descending from the skies in December 2021.
According to the Library of Congress, animal rain is so rare a phenomenon that it’s never been properly studied enough to conclusively determine how it occurs.
However, meteorologists have theorised that 'tornadic waterspouts' could be responsible, with the tornadoes sucking small animals in the water up into their vortexes before depositing them elsewhere.
Another hypothesis suggests strong wind currents from tornadoes or other weather conditions could act in the same way.
Though exceedingly rare, there have been a few other recorded incidents of animal rain over the centuries in areas prone to tornadoes.
In 1873, newspapers in Kansas City, US, reported raining frogs, while in 2009 tadpoles were seen falling from the sky in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.
As for this latest occurrence, one person wrote on Twitter: "It is rare but not impossible for earthworms to fall from the sky during rain, a phenomenon called 'earthworm rain'.
"This usually occurs when specific weather conditions occur, such as strong winds that lift the earthworms and carry them into the clouds, where they can be carried long distances before falling back to the ground with the rain."
Amid the speculation, the online community have been busy sharing their thoughts on the clip, with one joking: "Somebody clicked the wrong button on the weather manipulator 6000."
"The matrix is broken," quipped another, and, for all the Murakami fans out there, a third added: "Kafka on the shore?"
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@TheRioTimes
Topics: China, World News, Viral, Animals, Weather