Although it may have looked like it was raining reptiles, iguanas weren’t actually falling from the clouds. They were, however, tumbling out of trees. This can happen when it gets too cold, explains Ron Magill, an animal expert at the Miami zoo.
Last winter, temperatures dropped as low as 25 degrees Fahrenheit in some parts of South and Central Florida. Usually, the average low temperatures there are in the 50s and 60s. “When you have temperatures going that low, an iguana’s body shuts down,” says Magill. Once the reptile’s muscles stop working, it can’t move—and the result is a frozen iguana.
Suddenly, these lizards fall off branches and lie motionless on the ground. The fall can shock the animals and, in rare cases, even kill them. But most of the frozen iguanas will be fine. In fact, experts say their bodies will begin to warm back up in just a few hours.