Villagers in India mistook a frozen poo that fell from an aeroplane for either a UFO or a piece of space rock, a government source has revealed.
A sphere of icy faeces weighing around 12kg (26lbs) fell from the sky into Fazilpur Badli village on 13 January, sending locals into a frenzy.
"There was big thud and people of the village came running out of their homes to find out what had happened," senior official Vivek Kalia told the BBC.
"Some villagers thought it was an extraterrestrial object," he added.
"Others thought it was some celestial rock and I've heard that they took samples home."
Unfortunately for the amateur space rock collectors, what they took home was most likely a frozen clump of human defecation.
That verdict – delivered by the Indian Meteorological Department – will be particularly discomforting for the people who put the poos in their fridges to better preserve them.
"Villagers who kept it inside their refrigerators are disappointed and are now busy cleaning their houses," one resident told the Times of India.
It is not unheard for human waste to crash to the earth from overhead passenger jets although aeroplane toilets, contrary to popular myth, do not routinely flush into the sky.
Aeroplane toilets are designed to be emptied on the ground in between flights. However, very occasionally, urine and faeces forms around the plane's overflow outlet, turning icy as the craft cruises at high altitudes.
Blocks of this mucky ice then fall from planes, but mostly break up before reaching the Earth. Sometimes they don't however, and the resultant projectiles can cause serious damage to property or injuries to people and animals.
Britain's Civil Aviation Authority says such "ice falls" are very rare. "In comparison to the 2.5 million flights a year in UK airspace, approximately 25 ice falls per year are reported. Occasionally, there are reports of discoloured ice which may carry an odour," it said.
In 2016 a court in India ordered that airlines would be fined if their planes released human waste from toilets while in the air. The ruling followed the case of a woman in Madhya Pradesh state who suffered a nasty shoulder injury when she was hit by a football-sized chunk of ice that fell from a plane and crashed through the roof of her home.