• Question: Why does it rain red sometimes?

    Asked by purplebee2002 to Angela, Gabriele, Karen, Maria, Shane on 14 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: Shane Mc Guinness

      Shane Mc Guinness answered on 14 Nov 2013:

      Excellent question. When sand and dirt is blown up into the sky it sometimes falls in the rain. And when this dirt and sand comes from an area where the soil or sand is red, it can fall as red rain. I don’t really like this, as it covers my car in dirt, but it’s not so bad as my car is already red!
      Recently, a sand storm in north Africa actually causes some African sand to fall in Ireland as rain! Imagine that, African sand falling in Ireland!

    • Photo: Angela Stevenson

      Angela Stevenson answered on 14 Nov 2013:

      Yes excellent question! you re on fire purplebee 🙂 great job. Red rain is a really weird phenomenon that can last a short time to several days!
      Scientists believe that ‘blood rain’ is due to red dust particles suspended in the water (rain dust), other scientists believe that it might be due to the presence of micro-organisms in the water. As you know, scientists have many many theories, so they also have explanations that include sunspots, aurorae, and dust from meteorites and extraterrestrial cells in the water! Dust and mirco-organisms have to be the safest answer to this question 🙂 Hope that helped!

    • Photo: Karen McCarthy

      Karen McCarthy answered on 14 Nov 2013:

      Another neat rain fact purplebee – did you know that distinct “smell” of rain is actually caused by a type of bacteria?

      Actinomycetes are soil-living bacteria which love the damp and wet. When the soil or ground begins to dry out, they turn into little spores to protect themselves against the bad conditions. But when its raining, the force of the raindrops on the soil lifts the spores into the air! The spores then can float up our nose when we breathe, giving us that sweet “after-rain” smell!