Catfish falls out of the sky, lands in Florida couple's pool

By Ben Hooper
A catfish that fell out of the sky swims in a Winter Haven, Fla., couple's pool. Screenshot: WTVT-TV
A catfish that fell out of the sky swims in a Winter Haven, Fla., couple's pool. Screenshot: WTVT-TV

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April 6 (UPI) -- A Florida man investigating a loud crash on his screened porch made a bizarre discovery: A catfish had fallen out of the sky into his pool, and it was still alive.

Leonard Vanderpool of Winter Haven said he and his wife were watching TV Monday night when they heard a loud crash on their screened porch.


Vanderpool said he went outside to find there was a hole in the lanai -- and a catfish in his backyard pool.

"I come out and there's a big hole in my screen, and there's this big bullhead swimming in the water. It didn't kill him or anything. He's going crazy. The water was moving like crazy," Vanderpool told WFLA-TV.

Vanderpool called Winter Haven police for help getting the fish out of the pool. He said it took some work to convince the police dispatcher that he wasn't joking around.

"I told her, 'You're not going to believe this, but a fish dropped out of the sky and it is in my pool,'" he told WTVT-TV.

Police arrived and helped Vanderpool get the fish out of the pool.


"The fish was swimming like crazy. We took ten minutes to get him out of the water. Then the policeman put him in a big bucket that I had. It just barely fit in there," Vanderpool said.

Vanderpool's wife, Dawn, said police made sure to take photos to make sure their colleagues would believe the story.

"It didn't seem like people would believe it. It is crazy," Dawn Vanderpool said. "[The officer] had to take pictures because he knew they wouldn't believe him back at the station."

The Vanderpools and the police officer eventually came to the conclusion that a bird of prey had snatched the catfish out of the water, intending to make it into a meal, and accidentally dropped it over the screened porch.

"The fish probably stung it with its horns, because bullheads have horns, and he dropped it right through my screen," Leonard Vanderpool said. "When we had it out you could see talon marks on its back."

The lucky fish, which did not seem to have any severe injuries, was released into Lake Ruby.

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