NYT accidentally publishes bizarre story about watermelons on Mars
Fake news! NYT posts bizarre story about ‘fruit aliens’ planting fields of WATERMELONS on Mars – before swiftly deleting it and admitting it was a mock article never meant to be published
- The New York Times published an article titled ‘Fields of Watermelons Found On Mars, Police Say’ at 2:19pm on Tuesday
- The subhead followed: ‘Authorities say rise of fruit aliens is to blame for glut of outer space watermelons’
- The story was live for less than an hour before being removed, though its brief contents were archived before the Times could get to it
- It was replaced on the newspaper’s website with a note reading: ‘This article was published in error’
- A spokesperson said it was a mock article for a testing system that was never meant to be published
The New York Times caused a stir by posting an article about the discovery of watermelons on Mars before quickly deleting it and blaming the fake news on a system error.
The Times article titled ‘Fields of Watermelons Found On Mars, Police Say’ went live at 2.19pm on Tuesday and immediately drew attention from bewildered readers.
Intrigued minds were quick to question not only the shocking discovery of watermelons on the Red Planet, but that the news came from police.
The subhead followed: ‘Authorities say rise of fruit aliens is to blame for glut of outer space watermelons.’
On Tuesday, the New York Times briefly published an article claiming that ‘fields of watermelons’ had been found on Mars, with Joe Schmoe doing the reporting
The byline on the article belonged to Joe Schmoe, who doesn’t seem likely to be a real reporter at the publication.
The brief text in the article was just as outlandish: ‘The FBI declined to comment onreports [sic] of watermelons raining down, but confirmed that kiwis have been intercepted. This story is terribly boring.’
Futurism reported that the story was live for less than an hour before being removed, though its brief contents were archived before the New York Times could get to it.
The article was also cached on Google News.
The article has since been replaced on the New York Times website with an admin note reading, ‘This article was published in error.’
Within an hour, the article was removed and the Times claimed it was ‘published in error’
‘A mock article intended for a testing system was inadvertently published on this page earlier,’ the brief note reads.
In a statement to Futurism, the newspaper added: ‘Earlier today, a mock article intended for a testing system was published on our site in error. The article has since been removed.’
In all likelihood, the company was testing their content management system and accidentally published the joke article.
That didn’t stop Twitter from jumping on the venerable publication for the mistake.
Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said it was ‘all the fake news fit to print,’ mocking the Times’ tagline.
‘Clearly they have a seer on staff and published this article 1,000 years early,’ one user tweeted.
‘It would appear that the space-watermelon whistleblower has been silenced,’ another user said.
‘How embarrassing,’ David Marcus tweeted. ‘The Times broke the embargo and published early. Cat’s out of the bag now, NASA.’
Some noted how a person could’ve easily been fooled to believe that water had been found on Mars, a frequent hope of exploration on the planet.
One person tweeted: ‘”Did you hear they found watermelons on Mars?” “Water on Mars? Yeah, it seems like it’s every week they find water on Mars for the first time–wait did you say watermelons?”
Parker Molloy might’ve summed it up best, saying, ‘And that’s why you don’t play around in the CMS, kids.’
Unfortunately, there are still no verified reports of fields of watermelons found on Mars
Scientists do believe microbial life might live on Mars, but it could buried beneath the surface
Scientists do believe microbial life might live on Mars, but that it could buried beneath the planet’s surface.
Watermelons on Mars was far from the only issue the New York Times encountered on a busy Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, they were one of hundreds of websites around the world that went down, including CNN, Amazon, Shopify, PayPal, Reddit, the White House and British Government, after a ‘service configuration’ at their server provider Fastly triggered mass outages.
It’s unclear what the configuration was or whether or not Fastly intended for it to happen but it took three hours for it to be resolved, during which time government websites, media outlets and online shopping sites experienced huge problems.
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