Atlas Obscura is organizing trips! Join us on an adventure »
Today Only: 50% off Atlas Obscura books and calendars at Barnes & Noble »

Samoans Thought This Very Rare Hail Storm Was a Hoax

It’s only the second in recorded history.

Until last week, it hadn’t hailed in Samoa since 2011, and, looking at the average temperatures in the archipelago nation, it isn’t hard to see why: it’s consistently, reliably, in the mid-80s there. 

But on Friday, the country saw a very rare hail storm pass through, 15 minutes of precipitation that many in the nation found hard to believe. So hard to believe, in fact, that meteorologists had to produce the receipts. 

“Because it was so unexpected a lot of people thought it had been invented,” Luteru Tauvale, a meteorologist for the Samoan Meteorology Service, told the Guardian. ”We had to release satellite images of the conditions that led to to the hail for people to believe it was real.”

The hail came down on the island of Savai’i, one of six islands in a country of around 200,000 people, producing a weather event that has only happened one other time in recorded history.

The hail wasn’t large—less than an inch wide—but, even so, some islanders took it as fresh evidence of climate change, according to the Guardian

“More like we have just woken up to the fact it had been with us for a while but we refuse to accept/believe it,” one wrote on Facebook.