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Researchers using ultra-high speed cameras captured the process of water droplets contacting different surfaces, trapping small air bubbles when it hits.
The bubbles move upward through the liquid and erupt in aerosols that can be carried by the wind, for example.
The team was able to predict the amount of aerosols released by the rain droplet by testing different surfaces, from porous alumina to a sandy clay soil, among others as well as knowing the velocity of the raindrop prior to impact.
This camera capture and the detail it revealed has led scientists to speculate that rain droplets release aromatic elements from the soil, as well as bacteria and viruses stored in the soil which can then be carried on the air current.