Speed Reads

unfit to print

New York Times deletes an article claiming watermelons were discovered on Mars

The Martian watermelon fields aren't out there, despite what The New York Times briefly claimed. 

The Times on Tuesday deleted a bizarre article that briefly appeared on its website with a striking headline: "Fields of Watermelons Found on Mars, Police Say," Futurism reported

The article, which had the byline of "Joe Schmoe," also informed readers that "authorities say rise of fruit aliens is to blame for glut of outer space watermelons" and that "the FBI declined to comment on reports of watermelons raining down, but confirmed that kiwis have been intercepted." It added, "This story is terribly boring." 

A link to the article now leads to a message explaining that it was "published in error," and a spokesperson for the paper told the New York Post this was a case of a "mock article" that was "intended for a testing system" being mistakenly published. 

So no, the article wasn't simply published too early in advance of this melon-related scientific discovery genuinely being announced — though if that does happen, well, the Times was on it.