WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The New York Times accidentally published then deleted a mock article reporting about the discovery of watermelons on Mars.
- The bizarre article reported on “a rise of fruit aliens” and a “glut of outer space watermelons.”
- Twitter users had a field day regarding the mock article, and even jokingly held out hope that it was true.
A mock article reporting on the discovery of watermelons on Mars was accidentally published and then deleted by The New York Times on Thursday.
The article was written by a certain “Joe Schmoe” and was headlined “Fields of Watermelons Found on Mars, Police Say,” according to a report from Futurism.
An archived version of the article read:
“Authorities say rise of fruit aliens is to blame for glut of outer space watermelons.
The FBI declined to comment on reports of watermelons raining down, but confirmed that kiwis have been intercepted. This story is terribly boring.”
The bizarre article ended with: “watermelon taste good, police say.”
The site quickly took the article down. Any link to the article now lists the headline and text as, “This article was published in error.”
A New York Times spokesperson told HuffPost, “Earlier today, a mock article intended for a testing system was published on our site in error. The article has since been removed.”
Netizens expressed their disappointment that the discovery of space watermelons wasn’t real. Others joked about knowing “the truth,” while some continued to hold out hope.
Here are some of the reactions among the Twitterverse:
While the article has since been deleted, one Twitter user shared an archived article for anyone who missed it.
It turns out that newsrooms commonly keep unfinished or abandoned content “on the backend of their publishing systems,” says Gizmodo. From time to time, these could get errantly published, whether due to human error, technical malfunctions, or frantic button-mashing, the site continued.