Friday, June 14, 2013

How to Predict Rain, c. 300 BC

"Nonaquatic birds bathing themselves are a sign of rain or storm. And a toad washing itself and frogs croaking more than usual signal rain. Likewise the appearance of the lizard which they call "salamander"; and furthermore a green frog singing in a tree signals rain... Likewise, if a tame duck makes its way under the cornice of a house and flaps its wings, this signals rain... If a cooking vessel filled to the brim emits sparks all over it is a sign of rain. Centipedes in large numbers creeping towards the wall are a sign of rain." 
Theophrastus of Eresus, On Weather Signs (c. 300 BC)

Just face it: it's going to rain. (Also, centipedes in large numbers creeping towards the wall are a sign that you should call an exterminator.)

2 comments:

  1. I'm more interested in the "cooking vessel...emit[ting] sparks all over". Seems more like a sign that you shouldn't put a metal pot in the microwave.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Very prescient, that Theophrastus.

      Delete