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The Ultimate Rainbow Quiz
by Staff
You may think you know rainbows, but do you really know rainbows? HowStuffWorks.com is willing to bet you don't. We have more tidbits about refracted light than you've had hot meals, so step right up if you're feeling knowledgeable and prepare to get schooled in seven separate hues.

Why are there so many songs about rainbows, and what's on the other side?

  • Rainbows emit light rays that induce singing in frogs.
  • Rainbows are precious but only illusions, and rainbows have nothing to hide.
  • Rainbows are visions but only illusions, and rainbows have nothing to hide.

In the Broadway musical "Finian's Rainbow," where does the title character (on the run from a leprechaun) hope to invest his ill-won pot of gold?

  • Rainbow Valley, Missitucky
  • Fort Knox
  • Darby O'Gill's house

If most of the vehicles in your immediate vicinity have license plates with rainbows on them, which U.S. state would you be in?

  • Hawaii
  • California
  • Vermont

Rainbows frequently play a part in myth, folklore and religion. Leprechauns hide their gold near them. God uses them as a promise not to drown everything. Which of the following is not an actual rainbow belief?

  • The Babylonian goddess Ishtar wears them as fancy necklaces.
  • A delightful rainbow bridge connects the Norse realms of Ásgard and Midgard.
  • Vishnu used a rainbow sword to free himself from a whale's belly.

Who defined the seven-color sequence of hues (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet) in the visible spectrum in rainbows?

  • Roy G. Biv
  • Isaac Newton
  • Aristotle

Fill in the blank: When white sunlight hits ____ at a fairly low angle, you can see the component colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet in the form of a rainbow.

  • a cloud
  • a collection of raindrops
  • a leprechaun in the head

So just how many colors does each raindrop produce when it refracts white sunlight?

  • one
  • two
  • three
  • all of them

Rainbows sometimes deviate from their most common form. You might find yourself looking down at one inside a crater at Hawaii's Volcanoes National Park, and you might even glimpse a double rainbow. But the rare upside-down rainbow is something different entirely. What causes these multicolored smiles in the clouds?

  • Sunlight shines through floating gasoline particles.
  • Artificial light from cities shines through raindrops.
  • Sunlight shines through atmospheric ice crystals.

The water droplets required for a rainbow don't have to come from a cloud. They can come from a geyser, crashing surf or even a spider's web. But what about other light sources? Is there such thing as a moonbow?

  • yes
  • no
  • only in the discography of Duke Ellington

Rainbows are a signature of Earth's atmospheric conditions, but astrophysicists theorize that one additional destination in our solar system might have rainbows of its own. Where might this be?

  • Venus
  • Mars
  • Titan