This spring, we covered the fascinating story of a basketball-sized ice chunk that fell through a roof in Wisconsin, In case you missed it, a man was sitting in his home when a giant chunk of ice crashed through his roof and almost killed him. The origin of the ice chunk was a mystery. Was this an extraordinarily large piece of hail? Or was it a Joe Dirt-style frozen ball of human waste that fell out of an airplane?
Well, six months later, it appears that we have an answer. The chunk of ice was transported to the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire where it was analyzed by some great scientific minds.
It turns out this ice chunk came straight from the atmosphere. The ice chunk was over 99.99% water with very small amounts of sodium, iron, and calcium, and even some microorganisms. When the water evaporates it can pull a speck of dust upward into the atmosphere. Sometimes these droplets can reach the highest levels of the atmosphere where water condenses around the droplet/materials. Eventually, it falls down back to earth. In this case, the chunk of ice happened to be unusually large.