NY Times Deletes ‘Mock Article’: ‘Fields of Watermelons Found on Mars’

NY Times Deletes 'Mock Article': 'Fields of Watermelons Found on Mars' NY Times Deletes 'Mock Article': 'Fields of Watermelons Found on Mars' (Getty Images)

By Eric Mack | Tuesday, 08 June 2021 08:03 PM

A website which focuses on science, robots and off-world phenomena, noted The New York Times published and quickly deleted a report of "fields of watermelons found on Mars."

The find by Futurism.com noted the story appearing briefly Tuesday afternoon with a "Joe Schmoe" byline and a 2:19 p.m. ET timestamp.

The URL of the story now notes the headline: "This article was published in error."

It added, as of 6:54 p.m. ET: "A mock article intended for a testing system was inadvertently published on this page earlier."

It did not slip past Futurism.com, which added an archive of the Times' original page that was taken down within an hour.

The story headline was "Fields of Watermelons Found On Mars, Police Say" and included a subheadline: "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," the deleted story read. "This story is terribly boring."

A box also included a line with poor grammar: "watermelon taste good, police say."