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Rainbow Facts for Kids

Imagine there was just a huge rainstorm. You were safe from the rain in your house, but you looked outside as soon as it ended.

The sun was just starting to come out from behind the clouds, and the rain was starting to end.

During this magical moment, however, you see a beautiful sight- a rainbow!

Rainbows are considered to be one of nature’s most special gifts, with many paintings and photographs taken of them.

They have also inspired many poems, songs, and other types of art. What is it about these gorgeous arches that make us love them so much?

Read more to find out some interesting facts about rainbows.

earth sun refraction

Quick Rainbow Facts

  • “Rainbow” comes from the Latin arcus pluvius, meaning “rainy arch.”
  • In Greek and Roman times, it was believed that rainbows were a path created by the goddess of the rainbow, Iris, linking us to the immortals.
  • In China rainbows are considered to contain just five colors.
  • And in fact, a rainbow doesn’t even actually “exist,” … it’s not an object, it’s an optical phenomenon.
  • The world’s longest-lasting (or longest-observed) rainbow was located high in the mountains of Taipei, Taiwan in 2017 – it lasted for 8 hours and 58 minutes. 
  • You can never get to the end of a rainbow. This is beacusee a rainbow a based on the orientation of the observer (you) and the light source (the sun), when you move, the rainbow will move, too.
  • A double rainbow appears when light is reflected twice in a raindrop.
  • Sir Isaac Newton discovered the seven distinct colors of the visible spectrum.
  • The Rainbow is a reflection of perfect balance of the physical world.

How are rainbows formed?

Rainbows are formed when light shines through water, like when the sun shines through the rain. This light is bent and reflected, like a reflection in a mirror, and this causes all of the amazing colors that you see.

Rainbows normally appear from the rain, but they can happen wherever light is being bent inside of water droplets. Rainbows can be seen in mist, fog, spray, and dew.

Rainbows are made up of all seven colors that come from light. These colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

A great way to remember these colors is the think of the acronym, which seems like a man’s name:


Does everyone see the same rainbow?

Actually, what makes rainbows so special is that no two people see the same exact thing. Since it all depends on how the light is being bent and reflected back to you, everyone sees something different.

Someone who looks like they are standing right underneath it to you will actually be looking at the rainbow and seeing it from far away.

Can you touch a rainbow?

Rainbows are not an object or a thing and they cannot be touched. They are made up of light that is reflected and bent and you cannot feel light when it shines.

Where is the end of a rainbow?

There is no end to a rainbow. Even though they look like an arch to us, or an upside down letter U, rainbows are actually full circles.

We only see some of the circle because we usually view the rainbow from the ground.

Can you make your own rainbow? If so, how to make a rainbow?

Yes, you can! All you need is the sun and a water hose (and an adult’s permission, of course). You need to stand with your back against the sun, so you are facing away from it.

Grab your garden hose – those with big nozzles on the ends usually work the best –  and turn on the water.

Now, put your other hand straight up in the air. Start spraying the water about halfway between the ground and your other hand, which is straight up in the air.

You should see a mini-rainbow right in your backyard!

spraying water makes a rainbow

If this didn’t work, try moving the hose up or down some until you see the beautiful arch of gorgeous colors.

Again, if it didn’t work, you might need to wait until it is a sunnier day outside to make sure that you have plenty of light.

light bulb

Fun Facts About Rainbows

How does a rainbow form?

Rainbow is formed when light bends and reflects through water.

When can you see a rainbow?

Rainbows can appear any time there are water droplets in the air and the sunlight shines from behind them at a low angle. Can be seen in rain, mist, dew, and fog.

How many colors are there in a rainbow?


Rainbow is made up of seven colors (in order): red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

No two people see the same exact rainbow.

Rainbows are actually circles but they look like arches when we view them from the ground.

Rainbows are beautiful sights that most people enjoy and admire. They are made up of amazing colors that inspire poems, art, and songs.

Even though they are just light that is shaped through water, they continue to be viewed and loved by people everywhere.

fan waterfall

The next time you are in a rainstorm, make sure you look for a rainbow!

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