Rain: Beautiful, incredible and life giving, unlike anything else on our planet.

If you have ever taken a really close look at a raindrop, you’ll find that it seems to be a perfectly transparent sphere with no inclusions whatsoever.

Rain looks pure, clean, and seemingly made up of nothing.

But, in fact, rain is made up of a few elements that belie its simple appearance. Its complex make up is quite intriguing.

Interesting facts about rain

The clouds we see above are made up of gazillions of tiny droplets that are made up of ice, water, and air.

It takes around 1 million of these little droplets to form a single raindrop that we can see, according to research performed at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Raindrops come together and form larger drops that do not evaporate as they fall to the ground.

Model of hydrogen bonds between molecules of water

Did you know?

Rain is not just plain old H2O. It’s actually an electrolyte that contains a mixture of different minerals, such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium among other elements.

The amount of each element depends on the environment in which the rain falls.

Depending on how close the rain falling is to the ocean, it will either have more or less salt in its make up. For instance, the rain falling in Newfoundland is saltier than the rain that falls in Saskatchewan.

Raindrops pick up particles in the air which attach to water molecules to create a type of rain that is very specific to its environment.

In areas with frequent volcanic eruptions, such as Indonesia, Bolivia, and Mexico, the rain will tend to have higher quantities of volcanic ash than in areas where no volcanic activity exists.

Also, in places where there is more dust, these particles will be part of the rainfall. This is especially significant in areas where smog is very dense, such as Beijing in China, which is has the most polluted air on the planet, according to the IQAir Quality Index, and Dhaka, in Bangladesh, which is the second most smog-filled city.

Beijing, China. This is not a black and white photo; the smog can be clearly seen in the air.

Strangely enough, research on the Eastern seaboard of the United States has shown that rainfall can actually increase from pollution. This is because of the amount of fine particles in the air, usually caused by the exhaust from cars and other forms of transportation. These particles build up and cause clouds to form. The clouds eventually make rain.

The study revealed that the chance of rain increases during a typical week of work, from Monday to Friday. The rain eventually tends to fall on a Saturday, after building up for so many days.

Rain, as beautiful as it is, is Earth’s way of clearing the air and purifying itself.

Rain also helps plants to grow and helps to bring life to trees and flowers that are waking up in spring. It is one of the wonders of nature, causing so much good after a good soaking of the dry earth.

The next time it rains, take the time to appreciate all the work it took for one drop to form. There is nothing so painstakingly beautiful that tends to be so overlooked.

The powerful lady-pharaoh that ruled over ancient Egypt.

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