The Cloud Eater
The cloud eater, Passer vesconimbus, is related to the common house sparrow, Passer domesticus. Although the species has only been discovered recently, sightings of the cloud eater have been reported for over a thousand years, if only sporadically. In Europe, they were believed to protect the people from floods, and were thought to be messengers of God, since they lived so close to him. In the more arid parts of Africa, they were welcomed as the bringers of rain, and the first sightings of cloud eaters would be the signal to start the rain festivals that announced the beginning of the new harvest.
In the beginning of the XVIIth century, as the renaissance started, and people began to rely more on science, the myths surrounding the cloud eater, and the existence of the species, begun to be dismissed as superstition. It would take another three hundred years to conclusively prove its existence.
Just as his name indicates, the cloud eater eats, well, clouds. Or, to be more precise, the cloud eater eats the tiny organisms that live inside the clouds. These organisms, which often have been imported into the cloud through evaporation, and stay within the water vapor thanks to Brownian motion, have an effect on cloud formations and eventual precipitation. And by eating them and regulating their population, so does the cloud eater.
Due mostly to the increased pollution levels found in the atmosphere, as well as the direct interference by planes that has increased drastically these past years, cloud eater populations are on decline around the globe. And it seems that there absence is having a dramatic effect on precipitations around the world.
The diminution of cloud eater populations means an increase of microbial life in the clouds. This increase, in turn, means that the effect of said microbial populations on cloud formation and precipitation events is increased. Given that these microbes act mainly as catalysts to precipitation, their increase has led to shorter half-life times for clouds, meaning that precipitations occur much sooner in the cloud's life-cycle. Concretely, what this means is that places with little precipitation will have even less from now on, since clouds will tend to “pour out” their water sooner. This will lead to a marked skew in precipitation throughout the world, causing floods in places close to cloud-forming events, and droughts in those far away.
Even though not only biologists, but the whole of the scientific community has stressed the importance of the cloud eater in regulating water flow, conservation efforts are still remarkably feeble in comparison to the increased pollution that we see.
In some parts of the world, it is now believed that the clouds are mourning the passing of their friends, and that is why they cannot stop crying.