Villagers in India thought they had found a piece of the heavens when a 22-pound chunk of ice fell on the grass “with a big thud.”
As reported by BBC News, the people of the village gathered pieces of the ice, concluding that the mysterious ball must have been sent by the gods or have fell from outer space. They took the pieces home to store in refrigerators.
And although the frozen mass did fall from the sky, it didn’t come from heaven. A sample was sent to a lab for testing, and it was found to actually be a mass of frozen excrement, most likely from an airplane.
With the weight of the object and the terminal velocity of around 50 meters per second, the chunk of excrement would have seven times more kinetic energy than a bullet fired from an AK-47. A direct hit would be beyond deadly for anyone.
This isn’t as uncommon in India as you would think.
Late last year, a woman in India was hit in the shoulder after a ball of frozen airline excrement crashed through her roof and struck her.
Experts in the aviation community call this “blue ice” because of the color of the liquid disinfectant in airline toilets.
It forms on the underside of planes when leaks freeze and mass up, eventually breaking off and tumbling to the ground.
This is a malfunction that is entirely possible with airliners. Even with the high standards the United States sets for aviation, blue ice has been known to fall through houses.
But with 91 people per square mile, the chances of a chunk hitting someone in the United States is extremely low. The amount of blue ice that falls to the ground would be hard to estimate considering the temporary nature of it.
In the United Kingdom, roughly 25 cases of blue ice are reported every year. With the 2,500,000 flights over the U.K., this gives you a 0.001 percent chance of being hit by blue ice if you are directly underneath a plane in flight.
Airline traffic will only increase as the world becomes more and more interconnected. If you see a chunk of blue ice laying on the ground in the future, just let it be.
Have you ever heard of blue ice? Let us know on Facebook!
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.