It’s a weird news day involving melons, police and fruit aliens on Mars.
The New York Times accidentally published and then deleted a mock report that watermelons had been discovered on Mars, prompting hilarity on social media.
“Fields of Watermelons Found on Mars, Police Say,” was the headline of the article, written by “Joe Schmoe,” the website Futurism first reported.
“Authorities say rise of fruit aliens is to blame for glut of outer space watermelons,” the report continued, as seen in an archived version. “The FBI declined to comment on reports of watermelons raining down, but confirmed that kiwis have been intercepted. This story is terribly boring.”
It added: “watermelon taste good, police say.”
The article was promptly deleted on Thursday and now links to a statement that it was published in error.
It appears it was created to test a publishing system and was accidentally sent out into the world.
“Earlier today, a mock article intended for a testing system was published on our site in error,” a spokesperson for The New York Times told HuffPost. “The article has since been removed.”
Readers were disappointed to learn the space melon discovery wasn’t real. Others were ready to slam on their tinfoil hats.
Put it back up, cowards pic.twitter.com/bJ3prvSuJR
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) June 8, 2021
— ElleCue (@ElleCue) June 8, 2021
What's happening at the NYT pic.twitter.com/Ff5L24zZNk
— Jon Christian (@Jon_Christian) June 8, 2021
Honestly a bit disappointed it's not a 10k word feature complete with interactive visuals. https://t.co/YL6yQGZSUw
— Tony Ho Tran (@TonyHoWasHere) June 8, 2021
I, for one, would be very interested in watermelons from Mars 🍉 https://t.co/lgyoN8G1ar
— Chris Taylor (@christaylor_nyc) June 8, 2021
I'll probably get fired for this, if not worse, but it's worth it.
The watermelons are real.
— Robin Berjon (@robinberjon) June 8, 2021
i'm being silenced https://t.co/338ii496Uv
— cara giaimo (@cjgiaimo) June 8, 2021
Tell us the truth about Martian watermelons, NYT! We deserve to know. https://t.co/0MkOPIozCV
— Jeremy C. Shipp (they/them) (@JeremyCShipp) June 8, 2021
Me, a space reporter, on the phone to my sources: "So have you.. heard about the, um.. watermelons on Mars?" https://t.co/BWnj911j1r
— Marina Koren (@marinakoren) June 8, 2021
— Scott Kominers (@skominers) June 8, 2021