Poopsicles – that is, frozen chunks of human poop and other nastiness that comes from airplane toilets and then fall to the ground – are a real thing, researchers say. And a Canadian woman can verify that for you, as she found that out the hard way last month.
From the Inquisitr’s “Things You’d Rather Not Think About” news desk comes the story of Susan Allan, a Canadian woman who learned first-hand that poopsicles aren’t science fiction. As Canadian newspaper The Northern View reports, Allan was stopped at a stop light last month, sunroof open, when all of a sudden poop started raining down on her and her passengers. And it wasn’t bird poop.
“We were parked at the lights when the ‘sky poop’ starting falling. It got all over my car, it got all over (me) and got on my son, inside my vehicle. It was definitely falling from the sky.”
You’ve probably already figured out what’s to blame (since it’s right there in the headline): malfunctioning airplane toilets. Science professor Rob Young explains how.
“If it started as being kind of a poopsicle on the bottom of a plane, then it could easily thaw and become liquid as it came down.”
There’s even a joke about it in the airline industry – they call it “blue ice” (because the chemicals used in airplane lavatories is blue).
Basically, blue ice/poopsicles occur when there’s some sort of malfunction in the airplane’s lavatory system, causing the chemicals and waste to leak outside of the craft. There’s some physics involved, but basically, the leaking waste forms into a solid clump of ice thanks to the cold temperatures at high altitudes. Then, as the craft descends into warmer temperatures, the chunk of ice and other, er, “stuff,” comes off the craft and falls away.
Fortunately, most of the time the chunks will dissipate in the atmosphere before falling to the ground. But Professor Bernie Bauer thinks that, in rare cases, it can hit the ground – or, in the case of Susan Allan, a car.
“At low altitude, a bilge dump such as this would not have much time (distance) to disperse, and given the evident viscosity of such a mixture, it would not have dissipated into widespread drops (like raindrops). So it could have come down like a slurry of sorts.”
Transport Canada, the Canadian equivalent of the FAA, is investigating, but as of this writing, they’re refusing to comment on Allan’s situation due to the ongoing investigation.