World Facts

Wettest Places On Earth By Annual Rainfall

The wettest places on Earth, Mawsynram and nearby Cherrapunji in India, are known for their lush greenery and visited by tourists from around the world.

Precipitation can be defined as various forms of water (solid or liquid) that form in the atmosphere and fall upon an area’s surface. Precipitation is influenced by a number of factors including the presence of landforms, proximity to water bodies, elevation, latitude, and water currents. Landforms such as mountains prevent heavy rain clouds from traveling out of a region thus causing rainfall concentration on that particular area. Wind currents from water-bodies and high elevations from sea level also influence precipitation patterns.

The Ten Wettest Places In The World

Mawsynram, India

Mawsynram, located in the Meghalaya State in India, is the wettest place in the world, with an annual rainfall of 11,871 millimeters. The large volume of rain is caused by the Himalayas Ranges blocking heavy clouds’ escape to the North. The region’s rainfall rises to 12 meters, making the area home to rivers and waterfalls. The dwellers of Mawsynram have adapted to the wet conditions and never leave the house without an umbrella. The residents make basket-like covers with reeds, to block out the rain as they work in the fields. The villagers make use of grass as soundproof for their huts. The drier periods in the region are considered to be between December and January when the rainfall can amount to a mere 60 millimeters.

Cherrapunji, India

15 kilometers from Mawsynram is the second wettest place in the world. Cherrapunji receives an annual rainfall of 11,777 millimeters and is also located in India's Meghalaya State. The region stands at 4500 feet above sea level on the Khasi Hills, and receives its rainfall from the Monsoon winds traveling from the Bay of Bengal. The region is characterized by the monsoon season with varying amounts of rainfall per month. During the summer season, temperatures get as high as 23 Degrees Celsius and as low as seven degrees Celsius in the winter months. Perhaps Cherrapunji is mostly famed for its live Root Bridges, strong enough to hold about 50 people at once and the products of villager’s bioengineering efforts.

Tutendo, Colombia

Tutendo is found in the nation of Colombia in South America, and receives an annual rainfall of 11,770 millimeters. Tutendo has two rainy seasons and has a small population, less than 1,000 people. The small number of inhabitants in the region erect houses roofed with water-proof sheets to prevent leakages. The city of Quibdo lies nearby and is one of the wettest cities in the world.

Cropp River, New Zealand

Cropp River is found in New Zealand and receives an annual rainfall of 11,516 millimeters. The Cropp River is 9 kilometers in length. Its climate is a stark contrast to the mostly arid climate, which characterizes the rest of New Zealand. Cropp River recorded 1,049 millimeters of rainfall on December 12th-13th, 1995, the highest ever registered in New Zealand in a 48-hour period.

Other Extremely Wet Destinations

Other wet places in the world in regard to the amount of rainfall they receive are San Antonio de Ureca, Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea, which receives 10,450 millimeters of rainfall annually; Debundscha, Cameroon, Africa (10,299 millimeters); Big Bog, Maui, Hawaii (10,272 millimeters); Mt. Waialeale Kauai, Hawaii (9,763 millimeters); Kukui, Maui, Hawaii (9,293 millimeters) and Sichuan Province, China (8,169 millimeters). Cherrapunji is a major tourist attraction. The Umshiang Double-Decker Live Root Bridge and other bridges of the same nature offer spectacular attractions. Cherrapunji and Mawsynram are home to the waterfalls, caves, stone gorges, lush green plains, and ideal trekking terrain which make them tourism hot spots.

The Ten Wettest Places In The World

RankPlaceLocationAverage Annual Rainfall
1Mawsynram Meghalaya State, India11,871mm
2CherrapunjiMeghalaya State, India11,777mm
3TutendoColombia, South America11,770mm
4Cropp RiverNew Zealand11,516mm
5San Antonio de UrecaBioko Island, Equatorial Guinea10,450mm
6DebundschaCameroon, Africa10,299mm
7Big BogMaui, Hawaii10,272mm
8Mt WaialealeKauai, Hawaii9763mm
9KukuiMaui, Hawaii9293mm
10Emei ShanSichuan Province, China8169mm

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