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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fabulous Rain Quiz

       As the summer monsoon season squelches to a close in most of the region, try this quiz to find out how much you know about the wet substance that falls from the sky.

1. What is the wettest place in the world?

          Mawsynram in Meghalaya State, India. Go to 8.
          Legaspi, Bicol Region, in the Philippines. Go to 4.

2. Congratulations! Those 150 days deliver an annual rainfall of more than 78 inches. For rain forests that’s ideal growing weather. If you’ve kept your powder dry, you’ll have followed the fastest route through our quiz – only 18 steps (1-8-15-10-11-19-7-16-13-6-20-12-25-27-21-26-28-2)

3. Wrong. Back to 13 once more.

4. Sorry, wrong answer. But, when it comes to rain, Legaspi does have one to claim to fame – on August 13, 1963, Legaspi weather station recorded rainfall of 17.01 inches in a deluge that lasted for 15 minutes. Try again at 1.

5. Down the tubes! The rain forests of Southeast Asia just aren’t as rainy as you thought. Track back through the jungle to 28.

6. Bingo! This is the expert’s assessment, and between them these 1500 to 2000 thunderstorms generate about 6000 flashes of lightning every minute. Now put on your galoshes and head for 20.

7. What animal life caused alarm by escaping from riverside pens when exceptional rainfall led to widespread flooding in Thailand late in 1995?

        Crocodiles. Go to 16.
        Piranha fish. Go to 24.
        Otters. Go to 30.

8. Fine beginning. Mawsynram on average receives a soaking of 467 ½ inches a year, making it the wettest place in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records. All this rain is due to Mawsynram’s high elevation (4623 feet) and its location on the crest of one of the southern ranges of the Khasi Hills, where it is perfectly placed to be on the receiving end during the Southwest monsoon season. Next to 15 – you won’t need your raingear.

9. You ran into a puddle. Back to 13.

10. Hurrah! Right answer. The annual mean rainfall on the Pacific coast of Chile between Arica and Antofagasta is less than 0.004 inches, making it the driest place in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records. This is because high pressure is an almost permanent feature in the area. Now rain-dance your way to 11.

11. What is the most rain that has fallen in any one place during a 24-hour period?

          74 inches. Go to 19.
          40 inches. Go to 23.

12. Very knowledgeable. Throughout Asia our ancestors wove raincoats of materials readily available. Now take the plunge at 25.

13. At any given moment, approximately how many thunderstorms are occurring around the world?

          50 to 60. Go to 3.
          1500 to 2000. Go to 6.
          Over 5000. Go to 9.

14. Sorry. With the Himalayas acting as a barrier against the monsoons, this region receive less than 20 inches of rain a year, but other places are even more parched. Go back to 15.

15. Where is the driest place in the world?

           Southeast region of Tibet. Go to 14.
           Chile. Go to 10.
           Arizona, U.S.A. Go to 17.

16. You got it right. Hundreds of crocodiles – some as long as 13 feet – used the flooding to escape from the riverside pens. Crocodiles are farmed in Thailand for their meat – it has a unique sweet taste – and their skin, which is used to make luxury leather goods. Wade on to 13.

17. No. But the Guinness Book of Records says Yuma in Arizona is the sunniest place in the world, with an annual average of 91 percent of the possible hours of sunshine – a mean of 4055 hours out of 4456. Go back to 15.

18. Missed! Backtrack to 21.

19. Excellent! To be precise, the record amount of rain was 73.62 inches and it fell on Cilaos, Reunion Islands, Indian Ocean, in 24 hours on March 15 and 16, 1952. This is equal to over 7550 metric tons of rain per acre. Paddle to 7.

20. Who, in days of old, used to protect themselves against the wet by wearing “raincoats” made of rice straw or reeds?

            Asians. Go to 12.
            Eskimos. Go to 22.
            South American Indians. Go to 31.

21. Some scientists speculate that a continuous downpour helped to form the Earht. For about how many years do they believe it rained?

            One million. Go to 18.
            60,000. Go to 26.

22. No, no. Eskimos put their trust in rainwear they made by stitching together seal intestines, feathers and fur. Dodge the showers as you go back to 20.

23. Unfortunately, you’ve got it wrong. Go back to 11.

24. No, sorry. These voracious little killers can plead not guilty this time. Splash back to 7.

25. What are people in Japan talking about when they refer to the “divine wind?”

            Typhoons. Go to 27.
            The wind that brings early summer rain. Go to 29.

26. Yippee! You got it right. According to some scientists it took 60,000 years of continuous rainfall to fill the oceans and scour the land. Others debate the exact figure but agree it did rain for tens of thousands of years. Now on to 28.

27. Bull’s-eye! The Japanese have the destructive seasonal typhoons to thank for their historic independence from China. Twice the 13th century emperor Kublai Khan sent ships and troops against the Japanese islands and twice the typhoon’s onslaught wrecked the invader’s fleet. Now head for 21.

28. How often does it rain each year in the tropical rain forests of Southeast Asia?

             About 150 days. Go to 2.
             About 310 days. Go to 5.

29. Sorry, no. Return to 25.

30. Oh, no. These cute creatures wouldn’t frighten anybody. Back to 7.

31. You guessed wrongly. The South American Indian waterproofed his clothes with liquid latex from rubber trees. Back to 20.
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