Rain is also known or suspected on other planets, where it may be composed of methane, neon, sulfuric acid or even iron rather than water. Raining animals is a rare meteorological phenomenon in which flightless animals "rain" from the sky. Such occurrences have been reported in many countries throughout history. One hypothesis offered to explain this phenomenon is that strong winds traveling over water sometimes pick up creatures such as fish or frogs, and carry them for up to several miles. The English language idiom "it is raining cats and dogs", referring to a heavy downpour, is of uncertain etymology, and there is no evidence that it has any connection to the "raining animals" phenomenon. Note that this is a regular occurrence for birds, which can get killed in flight, or stunned, and then fall (unlike flightless creatures, which first have to be lifted into the air by an outside force). Sometimes this happens in large groups, for instance, the blackbirds falling from the sky in Beebe, Arkansas, United States on December 31, 2010.[
Red rain in Kerala
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Rain water sample (left) and after the particles settled (right). Dried sediment (center).
Red rain collected in stainless steel vessels
The Kerala red rain phenomenon was a blood rain (red rain) event that occurred from July 25 to September 23, 2001, when red-coloured rain sporadically fell on the southern Indian state of Kerala. Heavy downpours occurred in which the rain was colored red, staining clothes pink. Yellow, green, and black rain was also reported. Colored rain had been reported in Kerala as early as 1896 and several times since then, most recently in June 2012. It was initially thought that the rains were colored by fallout from a hypothetical meteor burst, but a study commissioned by the Government of India concluded that the rains had been colored by airborne spores from locally prolific terrestrial algae. It was not until early 2006 that the colored rains of Kerala gained widespread attention when the popular media reported that Godfrey Louis and Santhosh Kumar of the Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam proposed a controversial argument that the colored particles were extraterrestrial cells. Red rains were also reported on November 15, 2012 in eastern and north-central provinces of Sri Lanka, where scientists from the Sri Lanka Medical Research Institute (MRI) are investigating to ascertain their cause.
Effect on agriculture
Rainfall estimates for southern Japan and the surrounding region from July 20–27, 2009. Precipitation, especially rain, has a dramatic effect on agriculture. All plants need at least some water to survive, therefore rain (being the most effective means of watering) is important to agriculture. While a regular rain pattern is usually vital to healthy plants, too much or too little rainfall can be harmful, even devastating to crops. Drought can kill crops and increase erosion, while overly wet weather can cause harmful fungus growth. Plants need varying amounts of rainfall to survive. For example, certain cacti require small amounts of water, while tropical plants may need up to hundreds of inches of rain per year to survive. In culture
Cultural attitudes towards rain differ across the world. In temperate climates, people tend to be more stressed when the weather is unstable or cloudy, with its impact greater on men than women. Rain can also bring...