BERKELEY, CA—Offering an alternative explanation for the period of heavy glaciation and lower global temperatures, new evidence published Wednesday by scientists at the University of California suggests that Earth’s most recent ice age was caused by the planet drifting into a particularly chilly part of the Milky Way. “While past theories have posited that the last ice age was the result of factors ranging from changes in the planet’s atmosphere to the precession of its rotational axis to an ebb in solar activity, our research concludes that the epoch-long drop in surface temperatures can instead be attributed to Earth having floated through an extremely nippy corner of the galaxy,” said Dr. Gerard Weidl, explaining that the exceedingly brisk conditions prevailing in that particular region of outer space could be blamed for the growth of polar ice caps and the spread of glaciers across nearly a third of Earth’s total land area. “Luckily, about 11,000 years ago we coasted into a significantly balmier part of the Milky Way, which explains how much toastier everything’s been since then.” Weidl added that, should the planet float back into a chilly pocket of the universe, the few species that manage to survive would likely need to bundle up or else they would catch the shivers.