The internet is a dangerous place for information junkies like me. How can you tell if you’re in the presence of an information junkie? Easy. Just ask a seemingly innocuous question for which they (and you) don’t know the answer and watch them run off to the computer. It’s especially useful to do this if you want 5-6 hours to yourself and you’re not quite sure how to get rid of your partner/friend/child/coworker.
Information junkies just can’t answer the original question, because that question begats another question which begats another question, and the junkie has to get answers to them all, and this takes time because they have to compare at least four or five sites’ answers to see which answer is really true (or, if you’re me, which answer they understand).
For example, the other day someone innocently asked me, “What causes a double rainbow?” Before they could point out said rainbow, whoosh, I was at my computer trying to find the answer.
Okay, you’re probably wondering if you’re an information junkie. You’re not if you can resist knowing what causes a double rainbow (answer in detail below) or if you’ve already moved on to TMZ or the weather channel. You might be an information junkie if you continue reading below but that’s only because my answer is so short and more importantly, has a picture. You most definitely are an information junkie if you further research the subject. If you post further links as to details about rainbows in the comments section of this post, you’re in greater need of psychological help than even me.
Answer: Whether you see a single or double rainbow is due to the angle of the sun behind you hitting water droplets ahead of you. Single rainbows appear at an angle of 40-42°. Double rainbows, which are reflecting additional sunlight inside the raindrops, appear at an angle of 50–53°. (See this.) Pretty cool, huh? I never realized before that the sun had to be behind you for you to see a rainbow.
Oh, and did you know that in double rainbows the colors are reversed? When there is a double rainbow, the top rainbow is the reflection of the bottom rainbow, so red is always the middle color. In single rainbows red is always the top color and violet the bottom color. In doubles, the upper rainbow always has red as the bottom color and violet as the top color. And wow, I just realized that the fainter rainbow in a double is always on top because of the higher angle of reflection. I never noticed that before either.
Okay, so now you’re saying to yourself, I’ve gotta see a picture of this or I won’t be able to sleep or eat or have s.. er . . . have a soda, yes, or have a soda.
I understand, here you go…
Now, aren’t you a better person for knowing this? 🙂