Chemists Study Mysterious Substance


Jul 25, 2007

It didn't rain cats and dogs, apparently something strange did come from the sky in Bucks County. As we first told you on 69 News Tuesaday, a Perkasie resident contacted us after he found a strange substance all over his yard after a rainstorm. Today WFMZ's Joscelyn Moes called up a couple of chemists at Kutztown University to help her crack the case.  Jim McClelland I just have no idea what it is. >> Reporter Jim McClelland is not alone. He found this sparkly stuff all over his yard in Perkasie following a rain storm Monday night.

Jim McClelland It looked like someone took a cooler full of small ice cubes and just dumped it across the ground in the backyard. It was just all spread across the dirt. 

At first he thought it was hail ... but when it didn't melt and he picked it up ... he knew that wasn't the case. Since this story first aired ... we've received dozens of calls from 69 News viewers speculating about the substance. Some believe it was caused by a lawn or gardening chemical. To clear things up ... we took a sample of the stuff to a couple of chemists at Kutztown University. They say they'd never seen anything like it. >> 1:07-1:10--Dr. Dan Blanchard It looks like badly made gelatin that's about it. 
Dr. Dan Blanchard and Dr. Thomas Betts say they'll run some tests to try and figure out what it is and where it came from. They say they'll start simple. 

Dr. Dan Blanchard Adding materials to it and seeing how it reacts with them.
And then get a little more complex. 

-Dr. Thomas Betts One that we could do is just dry it out and see how much water it absorbs to see if it's one of those super absorbent polymers. 

Dr. Thomas Betts Given how localized it is. It might be a possibility. 
The tests are expected to take a couple of days. So for now it's still a mystery ... and everybody loves one of those. Joscelyn Moes ... 69 News.