Science: Perennial Mystery

Last week Dayton had a shower of green rain. It stained a few citizens' clothes and left a greenish tint on some white-painted houses. The press reported that local scientists were mystified.

There is not really much mystery about green, red or other-colored rain. A quick-acting biologist could probably have proved with a few squints through a microscope that Dayton's rain got its color from algae (microscopic plants) sucked up by a tornado. Full-sized tornadoes can lift heavy objects (such as signboards) high into the clouds. Even little whirlwinds can vacuum-clean the surface of a pond and deposit its green scum many...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!