Three decades ago residents of Stroud and Cirencester were startled to experience an incredibly unusual cloud burst.

It's common enough to hear the phrase 'raining cats and dogs', but delving into the history of bizarre and unexplained events in the area our reporter has uncovered a report from over 30 years ago, that documents the time it rained pink frogs in Gloucestershire.

According to an article in the Daily Mirror on October 24, 1987, within a period of two weeks, the two towns were pelted with amphibians on two separate occasions.

An the time an unnamed woman told the paper that "tiny rose-coloured frogs" were coming down in torrential rain near Stroud.

They were "bouncing off umbrellas and pavements and hopped off in their hundreds to nearby streams and gardens," she said.

Several pages in Unexplained Phenomena: A Rough Guide Special also outline the unusual meteorological occasion which saw a naturalist from the Gloucestershire Trust for Nature Conservancy (GTNC) dispatched to investigate the event.

GTNC's Ian Darling described the frogs as no more than a few grams in weight, and believed that they were albino versions of a common frog, hence the strange pink colouring.

Perplexed by the unbelievable sudden downpour many different suggestions were made as to how the frogs might have come to be in the sky.

That year parts of England, including the West Country, had experienced at least four falls of rain containing Saharan sand between May and September and the Fortean Times suggested that the frogs could have been transported with the sand from north Africa.

However others have pointed out that it would be extraordinary for the frogs to have survived being carried from the Sahara in atmospheric water droplets for an estimated 20 hours at 60 mph.

Other explanations have also been suggested, although few have been satisfactory - some suggested that small waterspouts and tornados across England had picked up fertilised frogs' eggs and that they had then hung around in the summer sky for weeks as the tadpoles matured before being dumped in the two Gloucestershire towns.

Another idea was that large hail fell, and then after it melting bystanders noticed the frogs on the ground revelling in the moist soil.

No explanation was ever fully accepted by the startled inhabitants of the two Cotswold towns but research shows that this is not the first time that frogs have fallen from the sky.

London newspapers reported that on August 17,1921 innumerable little frogs appeared during a thunderstorm in the northern part of London.

Another time Mrs S. Mowday went to see a Royal Navy display on the Meadow Platt in Sutton Park, near Birmingham, on June 12th, 1954, and recounted: "I attended the display with my young son and daughter.

"It was a Saturday and there were frequent heavy showers...

"We tried to shelter from a shower under the trees...when we were bombarded by tiny frogs, which seemed to come down with the rain.

"There were literally thousands of them. They descended on our umbrellas, on us and we were afraid to walk for fear of treading on them."

  • Do you remember the day it rained pink frogs in Stroud and Cirencester? Let us know in the comments below!