One reason you should probably not lick those icicles

U.S. and World

Icicles hang off a State Highway 195 sign in Killeen, Texas. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(KXAN) – We’ve all done it — maybe as a kid, maybe as a grown-up.

You’re playing outdoors after a winter storm, crunching through the snow and breathing in the chilled air. Then you see it — the perfect icicle.

A fresh, perfectly transparent, water-laden treat, dripping with pure H20 and just begging to be plucked and eaten. Nature’s crunchy little snack. Mother Earth’s popsicle. What could go wrong?

Video via Kristin Ashy

As it turns out, the water in that perfectly-formed icicle may not be so pure after all.

Icicles are formed when liquid water drips off of your roof, awning or tree — and freezes before gravity takes it to the ground. This means the water that forms the icicle dripped down the surface of your roof before reaching the edge. And what’s on your roof? Likely years of dust, dirt, pollen … and poop. Bird poop.

That’s right. The transparent, tantalizing icicle may have very low levels of avian fecal matter inside it.

So should you run to the doctor if you’ve indulged or purge your system of this poison? There is no need, and there are no known health impacts.

Take it as something to be aware of rather than a stern warning.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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