As Muddy Puddle Splashers and Master Mud Pie Makers, we love the rain and we’re certainly not put off by it. But how much do we actually know about it?
We’ve put together 10 brilliant facts about rain that you may not know. Share them with your children for a bit of fun!
1) It rains everywhere
Did you know that it also rains on other planets? However, it looks a bit different. Head to Saturn to witness the “rain” of diamonds or to Venus to see the sulphuric acid rain (or better read about it online). Have you heard of the beautiful, blue Exoplanet HD 189733b? Beware – the daytime temperature exceeds 1000°C and it rains… glass! We prefer our good, old raindrops!
2) Phantom rain?
In some very hot and dry regions rain doesn’t make the ground wet (it doesn’t have time!). It simply evaporates, hit by the hot air. It’s sometimes described as “phantom rain”.
3) The driest place on Earth
We thought deserts were the driest place on Earth, but we were wrong. In fact, it’s Antarctica where it almost never rains. This remote continent only receives a few inches of rain a year.
4) Raining fish
In the town of Yoro in Honduras it rains… fish! Small silver fish fall from the sky during large storms at least once a year. What is strange is that the fish are not even local to the area. Magic? Not really - there’s a scientific explanation for the “rain of fish” – supposedly, they are brought to Yoro by the sea tornadoes.
5) It's been raining a long time
Rain has been around for a while - Scientists have found fossils with indentations of raindrops dating back as far as 2.7 billion years ago.
6) Grain Rain - China
The Grain Rain is the 6th
solar term in the traditional Chinese calendar. It takes place in April and means spring is over, the temperature rises and it’s going to rain… a lot! It’s the best time for agriculture and rain is celebrated as a symbol of the good rice crops.
7) Rainmaking rituals – North America
Rain dance originated from the Native American tribes and some of them still perform it nowadays. The dancers believe they can invoke rain with their movements.
8) Monsoon traditions
In India, rain is a symbol of life and the source of abundance - no wonder why the arrival of monsoon is widely celebrated. Lots of festivals are held to welcome the rain. Monsoon is also a source of inspiration for the Indian cinema, literature and art.
9) Rain sayings and proverbs - Europe
If you live in Hungary, be careful if it rains on the 8th
June – it means it will not stop raining for the next 40 days. More bad news – a rainy 25th
May means the wine will go sour. If you spot cows lying down on the meadow in Poland, you can be sure the rain is coming! If you hear sheep bells in the French mountains… well, you guessed right – it’s going to rain. There are lots of rain sayings and proverbs in all the cultures and, funnily enough, sometimes they are true!
10) Wettest place on earth
Believe it or not, Mawsynram, a village in north-eastern India has an staggering 11,871 mm of rain on average every year. To put that in perspective, Snowdonia in Wales has an average annual rainfall of just over 3,000 mm. Better have a good pair of wellies!