It has begun. A shark has finally fallen from the sky in the United States. Virginia local Sue Bowser was reportedly enjoying a bit of TLC in the summer sun, when a baby smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis) landed in her backyard.

As much as we'd love to believe that mother nature heard the prayers of Sharknado fans around the world and sent our first shark overlord down from above, this story actually has a much tamer (and biologically plausible) explanation. Remember when several toothy lampreys fell from the sky in Alaska last month? Bowser's "shark from on high" is the result of hungry birds too – osprey to be exact. 

Also known as seahawks, ospreys are spectacularly large fish-eating raptors in the hawk family. They are unique among North American hawks in that fish make up a whopping 99 percent of their diet. These skilled aerial acrobats can be seen plunging from heights of 40 metres (130ft) in pursuit of a meal, and it's completely plausible that the bird landed the shark pup but failed to hold on to the slippery fish during flight.

And even if this were a Sharknado-in-the-making, it wouldn’t be a very successful one. Dogfish feed on small crustaceans, worms and tiny fish using flat, blunt, grinding teeth that better resemble sand paper than a saw. 

Because these harmless sharks pup from May to July, it will likely keep raining "cats and dogfish" for the next few weeks.

Top header image: SyFy Films