Planetary prank

By Phil Plait | April 1, 2011 9:45 am

I don’t do practical jokes much anymore — let’s just say that when I was younger, it would frequently happen that this sort of thing got escalated quickly into territory that put large swaths of the population at risk of life and limb — and I almost never do them on the blog.


This post on Blastr yesterday reminded me of the one time I did, though. It came to me in a flash, pretty much all at once, due to the setting I was in at the time. I took the shots, set everything up, and then sprung it on my readers two years ago on this very day.

Of course, you know going in it’s a joke, but I still think it’s funny. And since I’m lazy, I’ll simply point you to the post: Spirit sees phenomenal Martian vista.

Enjoy. And, of course, April Fools!

MORE ABOUT: April Fool

Comments (10)

  1. Calle

    Just wanted to drop by and make sure you’ve noticed that you are being featured in one of the many lovely music videos made by this guy who calls himself Symphony of Science. I searched your blog and was amazed that none of his videos was featured. Enjoy:

    Oh and also, arguably the most catchy song with the great Sagan:

  2. Cale, is that an April Fool’s joke? I’ve linked to many of the SoS videos, including the one I’m in!

  3. The Mutt
  4. Calle

    Is that so? No joke intended, I just couldn’t find it. Makes sense that you already know. Well then, just wanted to make sure. Great honor to be in it, well deserved.

  5. flip

    This year’s prank didn’t quite get me… mainly because I never remember nor pay attention to April Fools’, and the fact that it was highly unlikely. (Virgin buys Pluto? Yeah, that’ll happen!)

  6. mike burkhart

    Look like a big wad of bubble gum. Off topic Just got some James Bond movies on DVD , and over the years 007 has helped the space program a lot: In the frist movie DR No he stoped Dr No form throwing our rockets off course, In You only live twice he stoped Specter for steeling space craft out of orbit and allmost went into space himself , In Dimonds are forever stoped Specter form blackmailing the world with a laser armed satellite,In Moonraker got to go into space to stop Draxs plan to nerve gas the world and repopulate it with his “master race”, In goldeneye stop former 006 from useing a EMP satellite to destory Londons computers and in Die another day stoped a North Korean colonel form useing a solar powered satellite to start a new Korean war.

  7. mike burkhart

    The joke here is James Bond Bad guys are not to smart, they come up with these stupid plans only to have Bond find out and destory em .And they do this for the stupidest of resons.

  8. Jon Hanford

    I’ve seen an April 1 post over on the Faux News site talking about a ‘natural nuclear blast’ on Mars 180 million years ago (and is said to be responsible for the planet’s red color!):

    I’ll admit I fell for it, but as IVAN3MAN over at UT pointed out, it’s hard to tell if any Faux News stories are legit to begin with (remember the recent “fossilized life found in Martian meteorite” story). ūüėÄ

  9. Neil NZ

    Phil, I am surprised you missed the sharks tooth right in the middle of the second photograph.

  10. I thought this year you might’ve adopted as an April Fools the idea that the IAU has reclassified Earth as a dwarf planet rather than a proper planet based on this :

    “Lumpy Earth” imaging via the GOCE (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer) satellite. ūüėČ

    If you were going to do that, (which would’ve been great, btw.) then I really hope I didn’t spoil it for you by mentioning that in comment #46 there. If so, I apologise. :-(

    NB. Slightly surprised that no-one had already beaten me to it with that joke.


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