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Plane waste water in blue ice form drops near Mount Abu.

WHEN a mysterious lump of blue ice weighing about 30 kg fell from the sky in a farmhouse in Tokra village on the foothills of Mount Abu in Rajasthan's Sirohi district on Tuesday, the site became a centre of attraction for villagers as well as scientists.

It was around 5.30 am on Tuesday when Babu, the farmguard, was flabbergasted to hear the tearing sound of the lump striking a neem tree.

Leaving the cattle he was tending to, Babu moved towards the tree only to find that some of the branches were damaged and lumps of blue ice scattered all over the place.

It didn't rain the previous day and the sky was clear. In fact the mercury had touched around 38 degree Celsius. He rushed to inform others about his discovery.

As the news spread, a big crowd gathered at the site.

While some villagers thought it to be a heavenly body and maintained a distance, others were inspecting the melting lump.

Among those who reached the spot, included Professor K. K. Sharma, head of the department of geology at the Government College, Sirohi. He immediately dismissed the extra- terrestrial body theory.

Then what could it actually be? After surveying the area and studying the melted ice with the help of two of his colleagues -- professors Sanjai Purohit and Ritesh Purohit -- he maintained that the fallen blue ice was the result of ice- processing of waste water from aircraft lavatories caused by the leakage of the plane's water tanks. The site coincidentally lies on an authorised airline route.

The team said there was nothing unusual about the incident.

At least 46 similar cases were reported between the year 2000 and 2006.

Scientists have called this phenomenon as megacryometeor.

The megacryometeor develops in a clear sky because of the anomalous conditions in troposphere and stratosphere.

Dismissing the megacryometeor theory as well, Sharma said: " The lump of ice which fell in Sirohi is not megacryometeor.

The sticky property of the lump is due to organic fluids that are not present in megacryometeor.

The blue colour is because of a detergent used in aircraft."

sudhanshu.mishra@ mailtoday.in

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Oct 9, 2009
Words:373
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