This week's wild weather across the south of the U.S. has raised a controversial question online: was it just a light snow, or a nefarious government conspiracy?
It was definitely just snow. But the last few days have seen scores of videos like this from skeptics who claim the snowflakes aren't the real deal.
"I have a sample of 'snow' ... leaving the snow unmelted." (Via YouTube / sugar magnolia)
The conspiracy reasoning goes like this: the snow is unusual in Georgia and other southeast areas and doesn't melt when burned. Therefore, it must be fake snow, distributed by the government, as a diversion from big government tyranny: (Via YouTube / Div9neImages)
"You're being distracted from all fronts, you're preoccupied. They're up here signing bills, the government, to pretty much take away more of your rights and freedoms." (Via YouTube / Occult Sin)
Many of these videos have racked up thousands of views online — though, presumably, not everyone who watches this believes the whole fake weather thing.
Some skeptics tie the fake snow to a wider, and older, conspiracy regarding "geo-engineering" and the fear that the government is manipulating weather to use as a weapon. (Via The Resistance Journals)
Anyway, as you might expect, the fake government snow craze is pure paranoia.
Science-savvy reporters and experts have been quick to point out that snow doesn't melt when exposed to open flame like this.
"When you heat something like this, it goes from a solid to a gas. It's called sublimation. It doesn't go from a solid to a liquid, i.e. melting." (Via WTVR)
Oh, and that black mark left on the snow? And the chemical smell? That's from the butane in the lighter itself when it's left so close to the snow — which, by the way, does melt when exposed to heat, like from a microwave, rather than an open flame. (Via YouTube / JediSoulfly)
The U.S. Department of Interior also has information on sublimation and how that works — though I guess they could be in on it too, right?