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10 Scientifically Sound Weather Superstitions


7
Cows Lying Down Means Wet Weather Is on the Way
Are you a believer in bovine barometers or not so much? Musat/iStock/Thinkstock
Are you a believer in bovine barometers or not so much? Musat/iStock/Thinkstock

Animal behavior has long been a favorite weather indicator, and a whole herd of superstitions crowd around cows. It's said, for example, that a cow fed its own hairs will forget its previous home, or that a cow with a piece of its tail lopped off will never run away [source: Farmer's Almanac].

Cows have a long history as weather predictors, too. One superstition claims that a cow lies down when rain is coming. Given that cows lie down for a variety of reasons, including cud chewing, it's tempting to dismiss this claim as "udderly" ridiculous, but further rumination suggests that it might have a leg to stand on after all. The reason? A possible, albeit tenuous, link between crouching cows and wet weather: body heat.

It turns out that cows tend to stand more often when their bodies overheat, so an upright Guernsey could arguably mean hotter weather while a seated shorthorn implies cooling weather or a storm a' brewin'. Still, we wouldn't bet the farm on it, as this maxim is likely a case of over-milking a coincidence [sources: Allen et al.; Farmer's Almanac].