Who among us has not been mesmerized by the glory of rainbows when we were a kid? Or is it still aloof of its beauty? The overpowering feeling of wellness that we associate with rainbow colors is unparalleled. Every time we see a rainbow, we stop irrespective of how busy we are to marvel at its beauty.
The happy feeling that we experience in witnessing the bright band of colors leads us to have a palpable thought that something magical is going to happen! People take snaps of it to relive it’s magic later. The beautification and the gratification associated with the rainbow colors are the reason why it is found in children’s necessities, birthday cakes, fairs, and various forms of decor. Throughout time, poets and lyricists have included rainbows in their compositions and praised the serendipity of it.
What exactly are rainbows? Just like any other magical creation, rainbows are also an illusion—an optical illusion to be specific that Nature lays on us. The rainbows are visible when a ray light falls on a droplet of water, which leads to refraction and then again reflection. The ray of light changes directions again, and thus, we have our rainbow! Rainbows are a widely exciting subject, and there are hundreds of myths and scientific facts associated with it.
Some Unique Facts about Rainbow
1. Everyone’s Rainbow is Unique
Yeah! It might be hard to believe, but no two people in this world are capable of seeing the same rainbow colors. Even both our eyes witness a different version of it. Scientifically speaking, this is because rainbows are a phenomenon caused by light. And as our line of vision is never similar to another person’s, we see different versions of it. Even if we are sitting close to each other, it’s impossible to see the same rainbow.
2. Rainbow in ancient Greek and Roman history.
According to Greek and Roman mythology, the rainbow was how the Gods and Goddesses sent each other messages. Sounds way cooler than WhatsApp, eh? Well, Iris was the Goddess of the rainbow, and she was indeed God’s messenger. According to some legends, it is also believed that the Goddess created the rainbow as a bridge between the mortal world and Olympus, the home of the Gods.
3. Rainbows Can Exist at Night.
We might associate rainbow colors with a very bright and sunny day, but in reality, rainbows can also be visible at night. Just like sunlight, moonlight can also produce a rainbow, which is known as a moonbow or a lunar rainbow. The occurrence of a lunar rainbow is uncommon, though, because moonlight is not very bright. It’s difficult to view such a rainbow with the naked eye, but we can very well capture its an assortment of colors with a long exposure camera.
4. Rainbows Can be Visible as a Complete Circle.
On scarce instances, rainbows can be visible to the human eyes as a whole circle when the atmospheric conditions are just perfect. The sunlight and droplets should hit the right places to form this, and usually, the lower part of the circumference does not come in our visual line. However, we might be able to see it if we are in a pretty elevated platform like extremely high rise buildings or airplanes.
5. Rainbows Depend on the Sun.
Surprisingly, rainbows can only be created when the Sun is at an angle of 42 degrees. The red color, which is at the edge, needs to maintain this angle. This is the reason why we can catch sight of a rainbow only during sunrises and sunsets.
6. There are no Specific Sets of Colors in the Rainbow.
As every color in the rainbow blends with the next one entirely, we can never really classify the colors. It completely differs from person to person on how they choose to name the colors on the basis of its shade.
7. Rainbows Can Occur Anywhere Where Light Meets the Water.
Yes! A band of rainbow colors can be visible anywhere. It might be seen in the fog, in the mist, waterfalls, in spraying water from a device, and even a single droplet of water! This is because a rainbow, after all, is an optical illusion and has no particular place where it can be found.
8. The World’s Longest Lasting Rainbow!
Sometimes we see a rainbow, and finally, when we get into the thought of taking out our phone and clicking a picture, it’s gone. A stunning phenomenon happened on the 30th of November, 2017, in Yangmingshan, Chinese Taipei, when a rainbow lasted for an extraordinary 8 hours and 58 minutes. It became the longest-lasting rainbow ever after it surpassed the rainbow that was visible over Wetherby, Yorkshire, the United Kingdom, for 6 hours on the 14th of March, 1994. The world’s longest-lasting rainbow was monitored by the Chinese Culture University, who had all the ideal conditions to view the rainbow colors.
9. Rainbow in the World of Poetry.
Many world-famous poets have composed unique pieces of poetry using a rainbow as their muse. From the famous romantic poet William Wordsworth, whose composition:
“My heart leaps up when i behold A rainbow in the Sky”
“The rainbow never tells me That gust and storm are by, Yet is she more convincing Than Philosophy”
We see how rainbows have been used as a symbol of graciousness and sanctity. Rainbow colors always have and will still do stir the poet’s mind!
10. Rainbows Can Only be Visible on Earth.
The elements required to form a rainbow are sunlight and raindrops. As per research, there are no other planets known to humanity that are capable of holding water on its surface like earth or has enough water in its atmosphere like on the ground. However, there are other liquids in the atmosphere that can create something similar.
Rainbows have been quite a source of intrigue to people since before it was discovered way back in 984 AD by Ibn Sahl in Baghdad. Scientists have studied and worked on it, and poets have received inspiration from it. Still, for the ordinary people, rainbows have been a source of contentment and abundance, making us go all smiles and sometimes definitely can brighten up a sad day!
The LGBTQ Community also uses rainbow colors as a sign of pride.