Ph. by Anna Rapisarda
Water has no form.
That is not true, it has them all.
It is a river, a lake, a stream, it is fog, rain, snow, steam, ice, hail, …
In a word, it is form.
It is colourless.
That is not true, it comes in all the colours of the landscape it belongs to.
It is tasteless.
That is not true, participate in a water tasting and you will be amazed by the discoveries of your palate.
From one extreme to the other of its forms
Water flows, creeps, descends, falls, regenerates, models, …
For the Earth and every living thing it is life and survival.
Instead it is death and destruction when the extreme violence of which it is capable, transforms the landscape on which it falls, forever distorting it.
Soaking wet and foggy
In the world there is a unique “corner”, the wettest on the planet, where water unleashes like nowhere else.
It is in the Meghalya area, one of the smallest state in India.
In particular, Sohra (Cherrapunji) is known for being the rainiest: in just one year there were approximately 26,000 mm of rain and more than 9,000 in just one month. Impressive numbers, even more shocking when compared to the Italian ones, where the rainiest area is Friuli which, just to be clear, slightly exceeded 6,000 mm in one year.
Living here is not an easy task: it rains practically every day and the sun is a real rarity.
But the local population has learned from this complicated coexistence, building houses, structures and devising different systems to make the most of rainwater, such as collection tanks and bridges with “banana leaf” style roofs, so that it slides to the sides, without touching the buildings.
Why is it raining so much?
Because of the notorious Khasi hills, diabolically perfect as a channel for the very bad monsoons, the winds that from the south bring destruction every year between Nepal, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Colliding with almost vertical rock walls, the humid air rises dramatically, condensing into constant clouds and thunderstorms.
Extreme and violent events thanks to which this landscape has “earned” a fantasy film nickname: “house of the clouds”.
From the house of the clouds to the fog casket
Made up of infinite droplets of water, clouds are real transformists, capable of becoming fog, that form of water that creates a unique landscape enveloping everything with its “muffled and milky white”.
Loved and hated, fascinating, mysterious and dangerous, fog is a precious casket of water which, even without rainfall, is capable of ensuring a good amount of humidity for the flora through the droplets it deposits on leaves and the ground.
2022 was probably the best example in which the fog of the Po Valley was able to mitigate, at least in part, the prolonged and important periods of drought.
And the foggiest landscape on Earth?
Strange, but true, there is no precise answer.
If rainfall and temperatures can be measured, globally it is not possible to do so with fog, except in limited places.
That said, the foggiest encounters take place in the vast plains of Eastern Europe, rather than in the Po Valley.
With a flavour more of legend than of truth, it is said that the foggiest place on Earth is in Canada: its name is Grand Banks, in the province of Newfoundland. Here, when warm and cold currents meet, they generate a daily fog for at least 200 days a year.
When in doubt, to confirm or deny, let us identify ourselves with idle aimless strollers and wander through the landscapes of the world for the pure sake of getting lost in the haziest, imagining it as the creator of stories and characters.