April 15, 2021

Magic rain | Science | THE COUNTRY

Magic rain | Science | THE COUNTRY



Gabriel García Márquez imagined Macondo as a reflection of the South American reality. According to him, Macondo is a state of mind that not only allows you to see what you want to see, but also how you want to see it.

Perhaps it is for this reason that every time something amazing happens in reality, we immediately identify it with the state of mind that allows us to make the imagination bigger than the whole reality. That's when, after a while, Gabriel García Márquez comes to mind.

The rain of animals is an example of reality not exempt of magical component. Every now and then, the news will surprise us with the theme of a rain of frogs or toads or shrimps. The exact cause of these rains is not known, although the hypothesis points to the speed of the masses of air contained in the storms that, in their path, absorb large amounts of water, sucking with it everything that the water contains.

When these masses of air slow down and stop, they drop their load of water with everything the water carries, whether it be frogs, fish or prawns, as happened in the year 2012, in southern Sri Lanka, when a storm came to discharge its weight in the form of shellfish.

Last June, in China, in the city of Qingdao, octopus, sea urchins, shrimp and prawns were seen falling from the sky. In one of the images of the event appear some prawns stuck to the windshield of a car, as if the car had been seafooding. Months before, in September of 2017, the Mexican city of Tampico was also surprised by a similar rain. The waterspout had unloaded fish in the same way that Alexander Dumas told in his most animal novel, the one entitled Captain Panfilo. In this novel, Dumas tells us about life as well as the destiny of every animal Capt. Panfilo captures in his travels. Monkeys and bears appear in a narrative where piracy and lack of piety are attributes of a character that deals with every ship that crosses his path. This novel by Dumas includes the news of a newspaper that tells how a rain of toads covered the streets and the roofs of the houses.

Until well into the nineteenth century, the aforementioned phenomenon was considered supernatural. The thought that identified the rain of animals with a biblical plague continued to work until the French physicist André-Marie Ampère considered the phenomenon in its real dimension. Looking for a scientific explanation, he approached the cause. According to Ampere, the effect of the rain of animals was due to the force of the winds that capture them and that displaces them.

However, the scientific rigor required to construct the explanation of a reality never reaches every corner. Without going any further, we have the case of an event that occurred in the year 371, in the French region of Artois and that has led to the cult of Holy Manna that is still in place today, transmitted from father to son as an inheritance of magical thinking.

What happened that year was that a waterspout discharged its weight of fat after it had been made of wool. After the event, the sterile land became fertile by the work and grace of nature and its intrinsic right: chance. Well looked at, chance is also the chance present in a game called Macondo and played in the Colombian district of Aracataca with a top that has a series of figures engraved on it. Among these figures, it stands out the tree that is designated with the name of Macondo (Cavanillesia platanifolia) for being the one who wins the game

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