Kentucky meat shower

The Kentucky meat shower was an incident where large chunks of red meat fell from the sky in a 100 by 50 yard area near Olympia Springs, Bath County, Kentucky, for a period of several minutes on March 3, 1876. The phenomenon was reported by the New York Times and several other publications at the time

The meat appeared to be beef, but two locals who tasted it stated that it tasted like mutton or venison.

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.

Other less-conventional explanations were put forward, including author William Livingston Alden stating that “cosmic meat” was floating around in space that would drop through our atmosphere similarly to meteorites.

And in the same book as the “cosmic meat” theory comes this rather gruesome theory: “finely-hashed citizens of Kentucky, who had been caught up in a whirlwind while engaged in a little ‘difficulty’ with bowie knives, and strewn over their astonished state