The New York Times has long been known as the “Grey Lady of Journalism,” reflecting the newspaper’s institutional identity as a credible and respectable source of daily news.
However, on Tuesday an extremely bizarre claim graced the pages of the “paper of record”: that fields of watermelons had been discovered on Mars, a discovery made by police.
The story, which appeared as a stub, was pulled within an hour of publication. However, an archived snapshot of the “scoop” still remains.
“Authorities say rise of fruit aliens is to blame for glut of outer space watermelons,” read the story, according to a cached copy from Google News. “The FBI declined to comment on reports of watermelons raining down, but confirmed that kiwis have been intercepted.”
“This story is terribly boring,” it read.
The article has been replaced with a message noting that the story had been “published in error.”
The fact that the publication was likely the result of either a prank or human error is clear based on the byline, which attributes the story to a “Joe Schmoe.”
According to Futurism, the newspaper hasn’t yet addressed the strange incident. However, the website speculates that it may well have been an erroneous publication of a some test of the company’s backend content management system.
It goes without saying that while NASA missions and a Chinese rover are scouring Mars for native life, no large melons or kiwis have been discovered on the Red Planet.
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