At almost the same time the Ball was dropping to ring in the New Year in New York's Times Square, something very different was dropping from the sky in Beebe, Arkansas: thousands of dead red-winged blackbirds, to be specific.
According to Time, reports of the plummeting birds were first received at 11:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve, and Beebe residents awoke to find the carcasses of more than 2,000 of the creatures strewn across their lawns, roads and rooftops -- all within a one-mile stretch of town. While the cause of death is pending autopsies that will be conducted today (January 3), reports of trauma to the birds' skulls suggest a weather-related anomaly, such as lightning or high-altitude hail.
In an unrelated incident, a tugboat operator reported finding some 20,000 dead drum fish along the Arkansas River on December 30. Though the cause of their death is likely disease, the bevy of animal casualties in Arkansas over the past few days reminds us of the sort of thing that happens in apocalyptic disaster movies just before, you know, the disaster. Are dead birds dropping from the sky an indication that an Arkansas-centric apocalypse is nigh? Fingers crossed the answer is no. But while we're waiting for the answer, check out our list of five movies in which birds wreak havoc, portend disaster or generally spell doom for a handful of people or, in some cases, all of humanity.