To discover the reason for torrential downpours, several factors should be taken into account: the country’s proximity to the equator, its remoteness from the sea, topography, circulation of air masses, and terrain. To survive, people soundproof their houses with grass, use roof waterproofing materials, weave huge reed umbrellas, boil rainwater, and even build waterproof shelters. The key point is that they try to find alternative food sources, as it is impossible to farm in most of these regions due to harsh climatic conditions.
East Maui - Hawaiian Islands, US
10,272 mm of average annual rainfall
Hawaii is an abnormally humid region. For example, it is very foggy around high-mountain Great Swamp in those rare days when it does not rain. Heavy rains erode the soil, causing the formation of new swamps in the eastern rift zone of East Maui Volcano.
Alpine peat bog Big God, covered entirely with mosses and other vegetation, is located on the border between the Hana Forest Preserve and Haleakala National Park. It traps cumulonimbus clouds, so it is always wet. Heavy rains flow down the slopes of the moor evenly, forming numerous small waterfalls.
Locals have paved special paths made of wooden planks for transportation. Tourists visit this place to climb the mountain ridges and admire the view of babbling streams.
10,287 mm of average annual rainfall
This region on the southwestern slope of Cameroon's active volcano is considered the wettest in Africa. The southwest equatorial monsoon accounts for heavy rainfall, and high cliffs retain moisture from the Atlantic Ocean, resulting in thick cumulonimbus clouds. The proximity to the equator exacerbates the situation: a short and relatively dry winter is followed by a long and rainy summer, lasting from May to October.
Only few tourists visit this place, even though there is a picturesque volcanic lake near Debunji and a lighthouse left by German colonists on the promontory of the same name.
San Antonio de Ureca, Equatorial Guinea
10,450 mm of average annual rainfall
San Antonio de Ureca is a village located in the southwest of volcanic Bioko island, separated from the African mainland by a wide strait. High cliffs are covered with lianas and stunted trees. The village has a variety of tropical vegetation due to a hot and constantly humid climate.
Rains are caused by seasonal monsoon winds. Between November and March, when the weather is relatively dry, visitors can walk around the island and watch gorillas, chimpanzees, and sea turtles. A number of waterfalls in the jungle, beaches with black sand, a large lake in the volcanic crater, golden bays, and coral reefs attract many tourists to this place.
Hokitika, New Zealand
11,516 mm of average annual rainfall
Hokitika is located on the shores of the Tasman Sea, at the mouth of the eponymous river. It flows through picturesque canyons along white cliffs and reflects overhanging tropical vegetation. Summers are mild and winters are cool, with moderate rainfall throughout the year.
Despite steady downpours, tourists visit this region to admire picturesque views. Lake Kaniere, the granite gorge and the Mahinapua Lake Reserve are in the vicinity of Hokitika.
Waialeale - Hawaiian Islands, US
11,684 mm of average annual rainfall
Kauai, the northernmost of the Hawaiian Islands, is home to dormant shield volcano Waialeale. Its summit appears as if in a haze, covered with a layer of fog due to constant drizzle. It is a plateau with a small lake full of vegetation.
The reason for high humidity is the location of the island, as well as strong atmospheric fronts during cold seasons. Winds bring moisture, blowing the cone-shaped island from all sides. When the clouds disperse, rainbows appear in the sky. Moreover, they are depicted on the car license plates registered in the Aloha State.
11,770 mm of average annual rainfall
Residents of the village of Tutunendo, located high in the mountains, have sunny days only 2-3 times a year. On average, there are 280 rainy days throughout the year. Humidity is nearly 100%, and even during dry seasons, the sky is so cloudy that the sun shines only for 3-4 hours a day.
However, it rains mostly at night. There is a hive of activity during the day: locals swim in rivers and waterfalls, farm, go fishing, engage in mining and forestry. On weekends, tourists from Quibdo come to the verdant village.
11,777 mm of average annual rainfall
The distance between the towns of Cherapunji and Mawsynram in the Assam Mountains is 16 km. They are situated in the Indian state of Meghalaya, which means "Land of Clouds." The soil is poor as it is washed by water for five months during the year. Therefore, agriculture is not popular there. Locals are engaged in coal and limestone mining.
The climate is mild, with monsoons typical of India. In winter, Cherapunji suffers from a lack of water as there is no rainfall. The food is imported: it is sold in covered markets under tarpaulin canopies.
A knoops, a huge umbrella made of bamboo or banana leaves, protecting the head as well as the whole body from rain, and a headgear, which looks like a basket, are considered must-have items in this region. Bridges over mountain rivers are also unusual there. They are woven from strong and flexible roots of rubber trees.
11,872 mm of average annual rainfall
Mawsynram is perched at an altitude of 1400 m above sea level in northeast India. Rains arrive here from the Bay of Bengal. The contrast in rainfall distribution is the greatest and unparalleled in the world: there are extremely rainy and long summers and short dry winters. That’s the reason why the area, rich in vegetation, has a lot of waterfalls and caves carved by rainwater in the limestone.
In 1985, Mawsynram received 26,000 mm of rainfall. Consequently, the village entered the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s wettest place.
López de Micay, Colombia
12,892 mm of average annual rainfall
López de Micay is located within the Pacific Lowlands of southwestern Colombia on the right bank of the Micay River. Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year.
Special shelters protect locals from heavy downpours. Moreover, the city center has a system of enclosed underpasses for easy access from one district to another.
13,300 mm of average annual rainfall
Lloro, which literally means "weeping" in Spanish, is located on the banks of the Atrato River near the equator. Because of constant rains, the local residents cover the roofs with a special waterproof cloth to avoid leaking.
Agriculture is well developed in the upriver of the same name. People grow such crops as sugar cane and bananas. Nevertheless, locals suffer from a lack of clean drinking water.