Shocking — and, frankly, disturbing — security camera footage has captured the moment hundreds of birds fell out of the sky in Mexico.
The nightmare fuel video, captured in Cuauhtémoc city in Northern Mexico, shows what resembles a waterfall of birds hitting the pavement after dropping to the ground mid-flight.
Most of the birds fly away, but dozens of them remain on the street, dead.
The birds, identified as yellow-headed blackbirds, dropped to the ground on the morning of Feb. 7, reports Reuters.
They were likely North American birds, perhaps even Canadian birds, that had migrated south for the winter.
There has been speculation on social media that the birds fell after being exposed to 5G technology or were electrocuted by power lines. Others wondered if it was a sign of something more sinister, like the beginning of an apocalypse.
Experts, however, say there’s likely a more logical explanation to the bird-bomb, although they can’t pinpoint a particular event.
Dr. Richard Broughton, an ecologist with the U.K. Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, told The Guardian he believes it was caused by a predatory bird who forced the birds into a tight swirl before dive-bombing them and forcing them to crash.
When birds fly together in tight formation it’s called “murmuration.” Murmurations can involve hundreds of birds, making spectacular shapes in the sky as the birds fly in sync. When one bird suddenly changes its direction or speed, the other birds follow.
“This looks like a raptor like a peregrine or hawk has been chasing a flock, like they do with murmurating starlings, and they have crashed as the flock was forced low,” Broughton said.
“You can see that they act like a wave at the beginning, as if they are being flushed from above.”
A local veterinarian speculated to the local paper El Heraldo de Chihuahua, which first reported the story, that the birds might have been poisoned by a combination of wood-burning heaters, agrochemicals and cold weather in the area.
Local authorities will test the birds in a bid to establish a cause of death.