Actually, I suppose the wettest place on the planet would probably be somewhere at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean… However, in this post I am referring to the place with the highest amount of rainfall. Thus, the wettest place on Earth is in the Khasi hills formed by the Meghalaya Plateau.
Officially, the Meghalaya towns of Cherrapunjee and Mawsynram vie for “wettest spot on the planet” status. However, this is because the rain monitoring equipment for the area is located in these towns. In reality, the hills pictured above and below (a very short distance from Cherrapunjee and Mawsynram) receive even more rain.
The area is featured in the Guinness Book of World Records and actually holds two Guinness records:
1) For receiving the maximum amount of rainfall in a single year: 22,987 millimeters (904.9,973 inches) of rainfall between August 1860 and July 1861.
2) For receiving the maximum amount of rainfall in a single month: 9299.96 millimeters (366.14 inches) in July 1861.
In recent years Cherrapunjee has experienced up to 7 meters of rain in 24 hours!
That’s a lot of rain. And it is worth mentioning that almost all of the rain falls over a period of six months during the monsoon season rather than being spread out over a full year.
Why does it rain so much in Meghalaya? The short answer is because of its elevation and because of the monsoon season. Warm air that blows over the plains of Bangladesh below is cooled as it rises to the higher elevation. This cooling causes the moisture trapped in the air to condense, forming clouds, which then release copious amounts of rain.
Ironically, the wettest place in the world manages to thirst for water each winter when no rain falls at all for months at a time. And because of deforestation in the region, the soil has little to no absorption ability. Therefore, much of the water that arrives during the monsoon season runs down to Bangladesh – which really doesn’t need it.
Rain is evidently good for spiders. These guys were everywhere and they are the size of your head: