Mysterious Poop Is Falling From the Sky in Canada
Imagine sitting on your deck at home, riding in your car with the sunroof down or prepping for a barbecue when, all of a sudden, poop comes raining down from the sky. Apparently, this has not been as uncommon as you'd expect in Canada. All of these scenarios have occurred – in fact, 18 cases have occurred in Canada since May – and people want answers.
The substance has been described differently depending on the case, some described it as dark – almost black, others said it was more blue-ish brown. Some said it was cold, some said it smelled chlorinated. Nonetheless, all knew it as feces -- and all of the cases seem utterly unenjoyable.
The drops have caused quite a bit of damage. In one scenario, a shower of poo led to vomiting and a case of double-conjunctivitis (pink eye in both eyes). Leah McNaney, whose car was damaged by falling poop at her place of work – a senior home – reported that "two of the girls I work with, whose cars were also covered in this brown stuff, tried to wash it off and their paint chipped.”
One theory is that the substance came from frozen aircraft lavatory sewage that melted upon the plane's descent. The chemical deodorizer used in aircraft septic tanks would cause the waste to be dyed blue. Rob Young, earth and environmental sciences professor for UBC Okanagan (and subscriber to that theory), called it a "poopsicle."
Some who experienced it firsthand agree. Susan Allan, who was caught in one of the messes, recounted seeing a plane overhead during the incident. She called it "sky poop."
But, Transport Canada, the government body that oversees the nation's aviation, is adamant that although leaks in aircraft sewage tanks are possible, these events are not cases of what they call "blue ice." Here's what they told Black Press:
"Each air operator is responsible for ensuring that their aircraft operate safely and in compliance with the Canadian Aviation Regulations. Section 602.23, “Dropping of Objects,” states “No person shall create a hazard to persons or property on the surface by dropping an object from an aircraft in flight.” Any operator found to be in contravention of the Canadian Aviation Regulations will be subject to enforcement action under Transport Canada’s mandate.
Frozen lavatory waste is referred to as “blue ice.” Aircraft that have washroom facilities onboard are equipped with an enclosed sewage holding tank that is designed to be emptied at special facilities at airports. It is possible that a valve malfunctions and allows some leakage of the tank’s content. If this happens, the liquid seeping from valves freezes and adheres to the outside of the aircraft when the aircraft is flying at high altitudes. As the aircraft starts its decent and the atmosphere gets warmer, the ice will start to melt and pieces will detach themselves from the aircraft. These pieces of ice will either melt or remain in their solid state before hitting the ground."
So for now it seems the only thing that can be confirmed is that if you're traveling in Canada, you might want to pack an umbrella for the...ahem...crappy weather forecast.