Sometimes, a freak occurrence will make you count your blessings. Imagine a scenario in which a chunk of ice smashes through your roof. That frozen projectile then rips through your ceiling in the kitchen and takes a cabinet door off its hinges. Finally, the massive frozen ball shatters, leaving debris, splinters, and melting ice all of the floor. But, you walk away from it all feeling like the luckiest person in the world. That’s what happened to one New Jersey family.
On the evening of December 2, the Paradise family were in their Marlton, New Jersey home. By all accounts, it had been an average day. Kimberly Paradise gave her baby boy a dose of medicine in the kitchen, turned around, and walked into the other room. That’s when all hell broke loose. A huge chunk of ice tore through the family’s home just as described above.
About the incident, Kim Paradise told WPVI, “We just walked out [of the kitchen] and we heard something come through. It was like an explosion.” The hole measured about two feet. Something like this would usually lead to fear or frustration. However, it most likely instilled a sense of gratitude and good fortune in the Paradise family.
In news footage, a reporter speaking to Mrs. Paradise said, “You were there seconds earlier,” referring to where the chunk of ice came through the ceiling. “Seconds earlier, with my baby. Yeah,” she replied.
The Paradise family assumes that the chunk of ice fell from a passing plane. WPVI confirmed that two flights passed through that area around the time of the incident. So, it could be possible.
How Does an Airplane Drop a Chunk of Ice
When many people think of ice falling from an airplane they think of frozen balls of human waste hitting the ground. That’s called blue ice and it’s rare to see it outside of landing zones. This happens when the plane’s toilet storage tank leaks and the blue water freezes. As the plane reaches lower altitudes and warmer air, it thaws. Then, chunks of toilet water ice fall from the sky. Luckily for the Paradise family, the ice in their kitchen wasn’t blue. Here are some photos of the aftermath captured by WPVI videojournalist Mike Nik.
Ice can form on planes in different, less cringe-inducing ways as well. Moisture in the air can collect on a plane’s wings. Combined with the frigid temperatures at high altitudes, the moisture freezes. According to Weather.gov, three kinds of ice can form on an aircraft. They are classified as clear ice, rime ice, or mixed ice. Clear ice freezes in sheets over a plane’s wings. Rime ice, on the other hand, freezes in clusters of individual droplets on the edges of wings, pilot heads, and antennas. Mixed ice is a combination of the two.
Most likely, clear ice formed on a passing plane, and a chunk of it vibrated loose and fell to earth. Either way, the Paradise family is okay, despite the huge mess on their floor and the hole through their roof and ceiling.
Sometimes, it takes a massive chunk of ice falling through your roof to remind you of how good life really is.