One of the most remarkable aspects of the Earth’s climate is the sheer amount of variety that’s created by complex geographical features and meteorological patterns. The distance of this planet from the sun, as well as the Earth’s 23.5 degree axis tilt, also help bring four distinct seasons to many locations on Earth, especially those further away from the equator.
However, some places on Earth don’t experience much change at all. Year in and year out, residents of these locales can expect the same weather day after day, whether it results in dry, desert-like conditions, constant snowfall or other weather patterns locked in place.
In terms of areas that receive the most rain on the planet, many are located close to large bodies of water, mountains and other geography that doesn’t allow for much variation in climate. Often, these locations end up gathering moisture in constantly layered cloud formations that inundate lands with meters of rain every year.
Most of the rainiest places on Earth are located close to mountains and other elevations that direct, trap or create constant clouds that eventually release their moisture in the form of precipitation. Due to this phenomenon, half of the wettest places on Earth are located within Hawaii or within the Meghalaya state located in the north east portion of India.
10. Emei Shan – China – 8,169 mm
The rainiest location in all of China, Emei Shan is located in the Sichuan Province around the south central portion of the country. Designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996, this area is home to Mount Emei, which is the tallest of the Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism.
The rainfall that drenches this land is due to a pair of cloud layers which interact to create an incredible amount of precipitation. Emei Shan is also home to a variety of ancient martial arts monasteries that teach Wushu, including the first Buddhist temple in china. Exotic indigenous plants and animals such as monkeys, frogs, macaques and other birds call this mountainous region home.
9. Kukui – Hawaii (U.S.) – 9,293 mm
Kukui is a spot in Maui, Hawaii, featuring a mountain peak that rises 5,787 feet above sea level, created by the explosive force of a volcano that erupted long ago. The same eruption created the Iao Valley, a lush landscape formation created from the fallout of the same explosion.
The third most rainy location in the island state, Kukui is also home to a diverse set of indigenous species of flora and fauna. Due to its natural value and stark beauty, the area is considered a nature preserve privately monitored by the Maui Land and Pineapple Company, which typically only allows scientists to trek across the land.
8. Mount Waialeale – Hawaii (U.S.) – 9,763 mm
Mount Waialeale receives so much rainfall on an annual basis that the land is constantly slick, making the mountain extremely dangerous to traverse even for the most experienced hikers.
Waialeale in the Hawaiian language translates to “overflowing water”, which is entirely logical considering the abundance of precipitation the area receives each year. The source of this consistent precipitation is believed to be the conical shape of the mountain, the steepness of its slopes, its northern position relative to the rest of the state and an elevation that traps cloud formations created above.
The mountain is home to plenty of rare plants named after this beautiful rainforest landscape.
7. Big Bog – Hawaii (U.S.) – 10,272 mm
Recently, after a three-decade study of Hawaii’s rainfall patterns boosted by data collected from a weather station installed in 1992, Big Bog, located within Haleakala National Park, was crowned the champion of rainfall in the state of Hawaii, displacing Mount Waialeale from the top. This assertion is relatively controversial due to the difficulty in gathering data in these regions, with researchers preferring to simply call Big Bog and Mount Waialeale “very wet”.
Relatively pristine due to its remote location, reaching Big Bog requires a helicopter trip or, for those who are hardcore hikers, two days of travel by foot.
Nonetheless, Big Bog is a major tourist attraction for those who seek to immerse themselves in some of the most beautiful, verdant lands to grace the planet.
6. Debundscha – Cameroon – 10,299 mm
Located in the south western edge of Cameroon, Debundscha is a village that is adjacent to the southern part of the Atlantic on the coastline of this African nation. This area, the second wettest on the African continent, was part of German colonial activities at the beginning of the 20th century, which left behind a lighthouse that has stood for more than 100 years.
Debundscha receives much of its rainfall due to its coastal location and its proximity to the tallest landform in Africa, Mount Cameroon. This mountain aides in the accumulation of dense cloud formations, allowing moisture to gather and fall in tremendous amounts.
5. San Antonio de Ureca – Equatorial Guinea – 10,450 mm
The wettest place on the continent of Africa is San Antonio de Ureca, a city which resides in Equatorial Guinea, an island nation off the coastline of Cameroon, close to the slightly less rainy village of Debundscha. San Antonio de Ureca is on the southwest portion of the island, facing the Atlantic ocean, slightly north of the equator.
The majority of the year consists of heavy rainfalls driven by a combination of ocean moisture patterns captured by steep slopes that aides in trapping cloud formations that return immense amounts of precipitation. Typically, the warmth of this part of earth tends to result in lengthy seasons of dry weather rather than considerable rainfall.
4. Cropp River – New Zealand – 11,516 mm
Cropp River is the source of the majority of rainfall records recorded in the country of New Zealand and is the rainiest location in the Australasia and Oceania region of the planet, which usually experiences moderate to dry precipitation conditions throughout much of the year. On December 27th, 1989, the area received a whopping 758 mm of rain in only 24 hours.
Located along the western portion of New Zealand, close to the Tasman sea, the river is nestled among mountainous terrain that contributes to sharply increased levels of rainfall. Between October 1997 and October 1998, Cropp River experienced an incredible 18,413 mm of rain.
3. Tutunendo – Colombia – 11,770 mm
The small village of Tutendo, population less than 1,000, experiences two rainy seasons per year, inundating the land with the largest rainfalls in South America. All homes in this region feature waterproof lining that enable a semblance of dryness. Even the dry season of February and March witness 20 days of rain per month.
Close to the equator and the Pacific ocean, this area is constantly hot and humid with consistent low pressure weather patterns. This results in a rainforest climate that contributes to dense forests and vegetation. Nearby is the wettest big city on earth and the capital of the region, Quibdó, as well as Panama, also known for its hot, humid climate.
2. Cherrapunji – India – 11,777 mm
Situated less than 10 miles away from the official wettest place on Earth, Cherrapunji experiences rain on a near daily basis. The Guinness book of world records states that this region had the most rainfall in a year of any place of earth, with 26,471 mm falling from August 1860 to July 1861. It also holds the record for the greatest amount of rain in a single month, with 9,300 mm of precipitation during July 1861.
The elevation and location help monsoons rampage through the area, allowing the humidity and clouds to sometimes form specifically over this land while nearby locales remain dry. Remarkably, this area has living root bridges that have transported people over valley for more than 500 years.
1. Mawsynram – India – 11,871 mm
Arguments over which region is the wettest on earth are driven by the fact that Mawsynram records an average of 94 mm more than nearby Cherrapunji, which is an increase of about 0.7 percent.
Similar to Cherrapunji, there’s rarely a day that doesn’t record precipitation, with the majority of rain driven by lengthy monsoon seasons derived from the moisture and hot temperatures in the area, particularly the Bay of Bengal.
In order to dampen the noise of ceaseless rain, many residences are lined with grass roofs that absorb the impact of constantly falling water droplets.
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