It’s always Florida, isn’t it? Over the weekend, a mysterious ball of ice reportedly fell from a completely clear sky in Cape Coral, Florida, landing in a field in a suburban neighborhood. While that in itself isn’t particularly surprising in the age of ubiquitous air travel, the ice does not appear to have fallen from any aircraft and instead is speculated to be a case of a rare and mysterious weather phenomenon.
According to local news affiliate NBC 2, a Florida man heard the meteorite before seeing it. In a video aired by NBC 2, the man can be heard saying the object buzzing like a drone as it passed overhead. Looking up, he then saw the icy projectile crash to Earth somewhere in his neighborhood. He grabbed his wife, identified as Tiffany Laymance and ran to find the fallen ice lying in a small crater. Laymance, who discovered the icy meteorite, says the ice appeared to be clear, ruling out frozen airplane sewage:
We smelled it. And there was no smell whatsoever to it so we’re like okay, so we started Googling about it to try and figure out what it could be. I don’t do the aliens or anything like that so… just crazy ice.
It just so turns out that this particular kind of “crazy ice” likely has a bizarre meteorological explanation, and it doesn’t involve ‘the aliens’ for once.
Under certain atmospheric conditions, large clusters of ice similar to hailstones can form at high altitudes. When they fall to Earth, they are known as megacryometeors or atmospheric ice conglomerations. It is still not well known what causes them to form, and they often fall from cloudless skies.
Of course, the ice could have also condensed on the side of an aircraft passing overhead, but megacryometeor sounds a lot cooler. Also, while airplane waste is often cited as a theory, these mysterious chunks of ice have been reported since before the dawn of aviation and do not have the tell-tale blue color which disinfectant creates in airplane waste. Thus, these icy mystery meteorites can join the ranks of animal rains and the star jelly, another unexplained seemingly natural substance which appears to fall spontaneously from the skies.