"My brother is too kind. He was eminent when my eminence was only imminent." -Niles Crane
Question #91925 posted on 12/31/2018 11:24 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What atmospheric and geological conditions would be necessary to produce raindrops that were really lemondrops and gumdrops?

-mad hatter

A:

Dear Mad Hatter,

If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops oh what a dangerous place that would be. As magical as it might sound to have gumdrops falling from the sky, the conditions that it would actually take would be erm... less than ideal shall we put it.

So rain forms when water evaporates and then cools forming rain clouds. Evaporation is different process than boiling, so it happens in a wide range of temperatures that humans are comfortable with. Water is one of the other ingredients we need for gumdrops, but it's the other ingredients that are a bit more concerning.

To form raindrops and gumdrops we will also need a concentration of sugar, starches, coloring, and flavorings in the atmosphere. This is hard because sugar in solution tends to stay as liquid evaporates out. This is how we get rock candy. So, we would need high temperatures and ridiculous concentrations of sugar in the air to get our gumdrops. This means that the air you would breathing would be a scalding fog of syrupy mist. But wait, there's more!

Having sugar in the air might not sound terrible, but the collection of starches, coloring, and flavorings is a little more concerning. We wouldn't need too high concentrations because it could accumulate in the clouds, but there would have to be sizable concentrations at least in some areas. I'm not too worried about dies or flavorings, what I'm worried about is the citric acid needed for lemon drops. That's right, we would need acid rain. This could either be from sizable citric acid pollution, or from citric acid dissolved in the entire atmosphere. Either way, it's likely that we'll end up breathing acid. Not only will we have acid air, but we'll get a lot of acid rain.

Speaking of acid rain, we'll probably get a lot more acid and gummy rain than gumdrops and lemon drops. So, not only are we already living in a steamy mess of dissolved candy, but we'll also get boiling acidic rain on a frequent basis. This is already looking pretty apocalyptic--but wait there's more!

Have you ever seen the damage caused by hail stones? Gumdrops aren't that bad, but lemon drops are pretty hard. I definitely advise against catching terminal velocity lemon drops with your mouth open wide. You'll lose some teeth or maybe an eye. Oh what a place that would be.

Peace,

Tipperary