In Early January 2018, a group of villagers in Gurugram were educated on ‘celestial gifts’ that fall from the sky. These teachings were in response to something that happened the same week, in the village of Fazilpur Badil.
Rajbir Yadav, a simple farmer, was out on the fields when he encountered a mysterious ‘large rock’ crash into the ground near him and crumble. Like moths drawn to a flame, several other villagers flocked to the scene, equally curious about the big rock and what it stood for. Soon enough, the entire village knew about the case and wanted a glimpse of this particular boulder that had apparently fallen from the sky.
While some alleged it could be a rare mineral or even a geological gem, few deduced the item was a meteor – it was heavy, transparent, white on the outside and icy cold. Due to the enigmatic appeal behind the stone, few curious villagers took some of its fragments to their homes and kept them in their fridges. They must have thought that it might prove to be of great value later.
On the other hand, a team from the Indian Meteorological Department and National Disaster Management Authority had come to the village to see what the speculation around the rock was all about. When the team evaluated the rock, the mystery was solved: it turned out to be — ‘blue ice’. Sounds fancy, right? It is not.
‘Blue Ice’ is a term used for toilet waste that leaks from planes. It is named so because it is a frozen mix of human excreta and liquid disinfectants.
An expert from the team reported that there was a possibility that a heavy mass of ice must have fallen as frozen toilet water from an aeroplane’s lavatory. There are indeed many zig-zag air routes in the area, so the probability of the stone being ‘blue ice’, was high.
As strange as it sounds, it is not highly unusual for an aircraft to dump its waste mid-air. Just between January and April 2016, aircraft waste had been reported to fall in the regions of Sagar, Harda and the Dewas districts of Madhya Pradesh. In December 2016, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation( (DGCA) tried combatting this issue by requesting the airlines responsible for aircraft waste to pay Rs. 50,000 as environmental compensation in these matters.
In the meantime, none of the villagers in Fazilpur Badli had expected the rock to be human excreta, but a meteor because the rock had not melted. While questions surrounding the rock were scientifically answered, the inspection results definitely disappointed the handful of villagers who had kept the ‘stone’ in their fridges. They were now, cleaning any remainders of it from the freezers.
So lesson learned everyone. Try not to store anything unknown inside of your refrigerator.
Written by Shreemoyee Roychoudhury for MTTN
Edited by Chintan Gandhi