AUG 22, 2016 2:23 PM PDT

Scientists Offer Evidence to Quell Rumors of

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

We've all seen the white, hazy streaks in the sky before, usually in the wake of a plane. These marks are called contrails, and they're actually considered lines of clouds that form from the aircraft's engine exhaust.

But this explanation is seemingly too insufficient for conspiracy theorists, who cite contrails as evidence that the government is up to no good. That is, they think chemicals are in sprayed in the air to control the minds of the mass public, or even as an attempt to control climate and weather. This is why they dubbed contrails as "chemitrails."

To offer up scientific evidence to quell these rumors, scientists at the Carnegie Institution for Science embarked on a study of these contrails. The scientists showed chemitrail evidence to 77 atmospheric scientists and geochemists - the people who would know this topic best. Unsurprisingly, the consensus is that what theorists perceive to be chemitrails were no different than normal contrails. In addition, soil and sediment analysis could not definitively prove the chemitrails, and that other phenomena were much more likely.

Of course these explanations could be perceived to be all too convenient for conspiracy theorists. However, perhaps Occam's razor is true for this situation: the simplest explanation is usually the right one.
About the Author
I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
NOV 12, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Can a Chemical Be Both Nurturing and Destructive?
NOV 12, 2020
Can a Chemical Be Both Nurturing and Destructive?
On August 4, a megascale explosion almost leveled half of Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon. At the center of the negl ...
DEC 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
The Surprising Way Honeybees Protect Hives from Hornets
DEC 10, 2020
The Surprising Way Honeybees Protect Hives from Hornets
"Murder hornets," more commonly known as giant hornets, might be new to North America, but in their native ran ...
DEC 15, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Over-the-air Charging - How Close Are We to Realize Tesla's Vision?
DEC 15, 2020
Over-the-air Charging - How Close Are We to Realize Tesla's Vision?
When inventor and visionary Nikola Tesla erected his Wardenclyffe Tower, a 186-feet tall and 68-feet wide monstrous towe ...
MAR 09, 2021
Plants & Animals
Sea Slug Shows Extreme Case of Regeneration
MAR 09, 2021
Sea Slug Shows Extreme Case of Regeneration
Some of the most interesting—and possibly strangest—scientific discoveries happen by accident. According to ...
MAY 29, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Climate Models Overestimate Role of Greenhouse Gases in Global Warming, Says New Study
MAY 29, 2021
Climate Models Overestimate Role of Greenhouse Gases in Global Warming, Says New Study
Researchers have that there was four times more soot in the pre-industrial Southern Hemisphere's atmosphere than pre ...
MAY 30, 2021
Space & Astronomy
New Discovery Casts Origin of Milky Way into Doubt
MAY 30, 2021
New Discovery Casts Origin of Milky Way into Doubt
A detailed cross-section of another galaxy, known as YGC 10738, has cast previous ideas of how the Milky Way was formed ...
Loading Comments...