Category Archives: off the wall

Where Do Rainbows Come From?

Where do rainbows come from? This is actually a pretty fun question. “Answers” range from the scientific to the cultural with a lot of silliness along the way.

First, let’s start with the “what’s the deal with colors?” question by none other than Bill Nye the Science Guy!

So what are the colors of the rainbow? ROYGBIV! That’s Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet (you may remember the popular mnemonic device Roy G. Biv to remember the colors). However for most of us it’s red(ish), green(ish), and blue(ish) which is where we get the acronym ‘RGB’.

Turns out there are two ways our eyes receive colors. Do you know the difference in RGB and CMYK?

RGB = Red, Green, Blue
RGB deals with projecting light and is referred to as ‘additive color‘. If you had a light projector (like you’d find in the back of the auditorium of a performance) and you use the red, green, and blue filters together, you’ll project white light. This is the same principle that works in TVs and computer monitors.

CMYK = Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black
CMYK deals with receptive or absorbent light and is referred to as ‘subtractive color‘. Mostly this model is used for print and paint. Cyan is light blueish, Magenta is pinkish, and black is represented as K for ‘key‘ (the basis for the other colors).

So how do these color theories play out in real life? Here’s a video from a graphic designer explaining the difference in RGB and CMYK.

A prism will change the speed of light and create the rainbow colors. However, in the natural world, it is usually moisture and the angle of light that creates rainbows.

Some say it’s from whales.

Others say they are from unicorns.

Lately some say they are from the Nyan Cat.

Rainbows have been important in the world’s cultures. Christians and Jews say a rainbow is a reminder from God that He won’t flood the earth like He did at the time of Noah. A Hindu god, Indra, uses a rainbow to shoot lightning. The Irish have a Leprechaun’s pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Norse mythology say there is a rainbow bridge from Earth to Asgard (heaven) used by fallen, virtuous gods. There’s so much more that you can check out.

No matter what, rainbows are beautiful and fascinating whether you look at it from the religious, mythological, silly, or scientific views. It’s not every day you see one in the sky. But maybe next time you do see one, I hope you’ll enjoy it.

More Sunday Funnies

Such an intimidating backboard!
Precisely what I thought!
Homer vs Peter = Mind Blown
I hate that every time I get a stack of these they go straight to recycling
Um...yeah, so there's that...
I don't know who's winning
Happens all the time
What a precious family portrait!
Warning Indeed!

More Sunday Funnies

First Time Photos: First Wreck
Pretty awesome HS Teacher
Don't be lazy, Potassium.
Oh, I See!
If you've moved recently, you must relate to this!
Not to get political, but...
See? Told you!
How to quickly fail a test awesomely
Animals are so punny!

More Sunday Funnies

Fry is right
Informative Indeed
Yup, it's what dogs do
Refreshing, isn't it?
Great idea for soon-to-be-moms!
What a beautiful blue....oh that's unfortunate.
This is Stiller's Night.
Remember this for the next party
Kids had it so awesome back in the day; and/or these parents weren't the brightest (yet)
Hunger Games Inspiration

More Sunday Funnies

Urban Plant Tags
Oh won't you please take me home?
How I understand dogs and cats
Where's my waiter?
I've heard of turtle soup, but not turtle burgers
Oh I see what you did there
Sadly, this is for real
I think I'm at risk
Too often...