SEP 2, 2012
Leicester couple pelted by raining yellow plastic balls
Alrighty folks…now it’s raining colored balls in the UK! From the appearance, texture and size of the balls the two incidents don’t appear to be related except for their mysterious nature.
A husband and wife have been left puzzled after hundreds of tiny yellow plastic balls rained in their garden.
Dylis Scott and her husband Tony were in their garage on Monica Road, Leicester, on Sunday when the balls fell from the sky during a storm.
Mrs Scott said they started hitting the car and garage door and “shooting at me”.
The Met Office said it was possible for weather systems to lift things such as dust and deposit them many miles away.
In January it was reported that 3cm diameter blue balls came raining down during a hailstorm in Bournemouth, Dorset.
Theories on what the balls could have been included crystals used in floral displays or ammunition for a toy gun.
‘Heck, what’s happening?’
On Sunday Mrs Scott said she had gone inside after she heard thunder while she was painting outside.
“Suddenly all these little tiny, bright yellow balls came down with the rain, and they were hitting the car, hitting the garage door, and shooting at me,” the 70-year-old said.
“I looked outside and all over the lawn were all these yellow balls. And it was absolutely pelting down.
“I thought ‘Heck, what’s happening?’ I’m only doing painting and they are sending all these yellow balls down.”
Mrs Scott also saw some of the balls deposited down the road.
Most of the balls have now disappeared and Mr Scott thinks they were washed away by the rain.
‘What are they?’
Dr Lisa Jardine-Wright, a physicist at the Cavendish Laboratory, based at the University of Cambridge, said particles of matter can be picked up by the wind and transported in the rain.
“Because these [yellow balls] are very light it wouldn’t need to be very strong and it could potentially transport them a reasonable distance,” she said.
“The bigger question is what are they, and where has it grabbed it from?”
A Met Office spokesperson said: “Although we can’t say whether this occurrence was weather related, it is possible for weather systems to lift things such as dust and deposit them many miles away.
“We saw a good example of this back in May when dust from the Sahara was deposited on cars in the UK.
“Obviously the heavier the item is the harder it is to lift it, but air movements (updrafts) around thunderstorms can be strong enough to raise small items and move them.”
Bournemouth resident mystified by ‘blue sphere shower’ – January 2012
A man in Dorset has been left mystified after tiny blue spheres fell from the sky into his garden.
Steve Hornsby from Bournemouth said the 3cm diameter balls came raining down late on Thursday afternoon during a hail storm.
He found about a dozen of the balls in his garden. He said: “[They’re] difficult to pick up, I had to get a spoon and flick them into a jam jar.”
The Met Office said the jelly-like substance was “not meteorological”.
Mr Hornsby, a former aircraft engineer, said: “The sky went a really dark yellow colour.
“As I walked outside to go to the garage there was an instant hail storm for a few seconds and I thought, ‘what’s that in the grass’?”
Mr Hornsby said he was keeping the balls in his fridge while he tried to find out what they were
Walking around his garden he found many more blue spheres were scattered across the grass.
He said: “The have an exterior shell with a softer inner but have no smell, aren’t sticky and do not melt.”
Mr Hornsby said he was keeping the balls in his fridge while he tried to find out what they were.
Josie Pegg, an applied science research assistant at Bournemouth University, speculated that the apparently strange phenomena might be “marine invertebrate eggs”.
“These have been implicated in previous ‘strange goo’ incidents,” she said. “I’d have thought it’s a little early for spawning but I suppose we’ve had a very mild winter.
“The transmission of eggs on birds’ feet is well documented and I guess if a bird was caught out in a storm this could be the cause.”