New Zealand Just Mistook Google's Project Loon for a Crashing Airplane

Filling the skies with whimsical, internet-providing balloons is bound to have the occasional hitch—and down in New Zealand, one of Google's Project Loon balloons was just mistaken for an airplane crashing, causing emergency services to flock.

The Wall Street Journal reports that New Zealand's emergency services were dispatched today—including a rescue helicopter—after onlookers believed an airplane was crashing. Teams arrived off the east coast of New Zealand's South Island to find one of Google's balloons bobbing in the water.

Google has since confirmed that one of their balloons did indeed drop into the sea off the coast of New Zealand, explaining that it's "difficult to keep the balloons in one place because of prevailing winds." Google has teams set up to recover the grounded balloons, so it's a shame that the crash resulted in wasting emergency service resources.

It's not the first time a falling Loon balloon has caused trouble: earlier this year one crashed into a mint field in Yakima, Washington, cutting power for locals in the process. Both incidents are a reminder that filling our skies with balloons and drones and quadcopters and who-knows-what-else has occasional downsides, too. [WSJ via Verge]