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29 Facts About Rainbows You Probably Don’t Know

Here is a collection of most interesting rainbow facts including how does a rainbow is formed and why do we see seven colors of the rainbow?

rainbow over beach

Facts about Rainbows: How are Rainbows Formed?

rainbow facts

We can’t see rainbow every day, you only see it when it rains, why is that and how rainbow is formed?

The rainbow is formed by the ordinary white light, like sunlight is made up of many different colors, but we can’t see all the different colors as sunlight appear colorless. However, if we pass the white light through a prism or a piece of glass, the white light splits into band of colors and this band of colors is called a spectrum and it contains all the colors of rainbow.

When it rains, the rain drops act like prisms of glass and when sunlight passes through the raindrops, it breaks up into spectrum and we see all the seven different colors of the rainbow.

rainbow colours

29 Facts about Rainbows

  1. Rainbows have seven different colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

2. When a rainbow is formed it’s circular but you can’t see a complete circle while you are on the ground, but you can see a full circle Rainbow from an airplane.

3. To create a rainbow, the light should be spotted on the drops of water at exactly 42 degrees, that is the reason you cannot see a rainbow at noon.

4. Isaac Newton was the first person to describe the formation of the rainbow.

5. It is a European myth that there is a hugely valuable treasure at the end of both rainbows, placed there by angels.

6. According to the myth, the treasure can only be seen by a nude man.

7. Rainbows cannot be touched by human hands.

8. According to the old mythology it was said that you should not point towards a rainbow. The reason for this is that in some cultures it is believed that rainbows can bring back luck due to an association with devils and demons.

9. Another myth is that a rainbow can change a person’s gender.

10. The myths can be quite confusing as there are several other myths that say the rainbow is a symbol of love and good luck.

11. And yet another myth says that rainbows are a bridge between heaven and earth. According to Greek mythology, the Greek goddess Iris was personified by the rainbow.

Iris is the female counterpart to the male messenger god, Hermes. She would use her pitcher to collect water and then take that water to the clouds to form a rainbow. That rainbow was then said to be a bridge between Mount Olympus, home to the gods and goddesses, and the Earth.

12. Siberian tribes consider the rainbows as the voice of the Sun.

13. It is possible to see a double rainbow in the sky. This type of rainbow is only formed when sunlight reflects twice inside the water drops.

14. Earth is the only planet in this Solar System where the possibility of forming a rainbow is 100%. Other than earth the probability of forming a rainbow on any other planet is 1%. This is because earth is the only planet with consistent liquid precipitation and direct sunlight.

15. Rainbows can be formed on the moon of Planet Saturn. The name of this moon is Titan and this theory is considered almost true because the moist atmosphere of Saturn’s moon is ideal for the formation of a rainbow, and it is also known that the dispersion of this moon is 40 to 49 degrees, which makes it more possible to form Rainbow on it.

16. Each and every raindrop can create a rainbow, but for the human eye to see it thousands of raindrops need to combine their rainbows and create a big one for us to see it.

17. Rainbows can be created at home when it isn’t raining. Stand straight with your back to the SUN, and take a water hose or garden hose which is used to spray water.

Use the water hose to spray in front of you without turning toward the sun, and within a few minutes, you will see that a small rainbow will be formed. Remember that you must keep the sun behind your back.

18. We tend not to see rainbows in the winter. The reason for this is that raindrops freeze into snowflakes so there is less rainfall.

19. In addition to being seen in the rain, rainbows can be seen in mist, dew, spray, and fog.

20. It is very uncommon to see a rainbow in the middle of the day

21. Hawaii in the United States has more rainbows than anywhere else on earth.

22. Today, rainbows are seen as a symbol of peach and harmony and are often used as symbols of gay and LGBT pride.

23. The word rainbow comes from the Latin arcus pluvius which means rainy arch.

24. You can never get to the end of a rainbow. When you move the rainbow also moves, which can be quite annoying! The rainbow is based on the orientation of the person who is watching it so when you move the source of what is lighting up the rainbow, the sun also moves – as does the rainbow.

25. The Greek poet Homer believed that rainbows were made of just one colour, purple.

26. In China rainbows are thought to have only five colours.

27. In reality there are no rules when it comes to the number of colours in a rainbow. Each different colour hue tends to blend in the next. There are no hard lines which means it is up to the interpretation of each person who observes the rainbow – or each culture as we have seen.

28. The longest-lasting/observed rainbow was in Sheffield, England in 1994. Apparently, the rainbow lasted for six hours. Then in 2017, students and professors at the Chinese Culture University in the mountains of Taiwan observed a rainbow that lasted for just under nine hours.

29. If you search for rainbow on Youtube the highest search result is an Israeli artist IZ Kamakawiwo. He plays a ukulele version of the Judy Garland classic from the Wizard of Oz “Over the Rainbow”.

hand with rainbow

I don’t know about you but it feels special every time I see a rainbow – that and I always reach for my phone to take a photo! There is something quite magical about this natural phenomenon no matter what your age.

You might enjoy my post on interesting facts about sunflowers.

abstract rainbow facts about rainbows


Saturday 20th of May 2023

My husband and I drove through the end of a rainbow. I was so shocked and I loved it. I know you said that you can’t see the end of one but we did on the road we were on. There was no pot of God or a little green man!! Lololol


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