Kentucky meat shower
The Kentucky meat shower was an incident where chunks of red meat fell from the sky in a 100 by 50 yard area near Rankin, Bath County, Kentucky, for a period of several minutes on March 23, 1876. The phenomenon was reported by the New York Times and several other publications at the time.
Identifying the meat
The meat appeared to be beef, but two locals who tasted it stated that it tasted like mutton, venison, or lamb.
Initially, the "meat" was identified by a Mr. Leopold Brandeis writing in the Sanitarian as Nostoc, which he described as a type of vegetable matter. When Brandeis passed the meat sample to the Newark Scientific Association for further analysis, this led to a letter from Dr. Allan McLane Hamilton appearing in the publication Medical Record stating that the meat had been identified as lung tissue from either a horse or a human infant ("the structure of the organ in these two cases being very similar.") The makeup of this sample was backed up by further analysis, with two samples of the meat being identified as lung tissue, three samples were of muscle tissue, and two of cartilage.
Out of the many theories for an explanation of this phenomenon, the most likely appears to be that a large pack of buzzards flew over the area after having eaten a couple of freshly dead horses, and when one of them spontaneously disgorged itself, all the others (as apparently is customary amongst buzzards) followed suit.
References in popular culture
A fictional character named Quentin Lester referenced the Kentucky meat shower in "Framed", when he said "It's like a Kentucky Meat Shower in there".
- "Flesh Descending In A Shower.; An Astounding Phenomenon In Kentucky--Fresh Meat Like Mutton Orvenison Falling From A Clear Sky". The New York Times. March 10, 1876.
- "Kentucky Meat Shower". Retrieved February 21, 2012.
- "Mysterious Shower Of Meat". Retrieved February 21, 2012.