Fact Check

NASA Finds Message from God on Mars

Did NASA announce that the Curiosity Rover found a message from God on Mars?

Published Dec 3, 2013

Claim:   NASA announced that the Curiosity Rover found a message from God on Mars.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, August 2013]

Please check out this article about the discovery of tablets on Mars proving the existence of God. The same story is already on many other sites also being repeated as if it were true.


Origins:   On 1 July 2013, the Daily Currant published an article about a NASA announcement that the Curiosity Rover had found a message from God on the planet Mars:

NASA announced today that its Curiosity Rover has found an unambiguous message from God written on tablets in a Martian cave.

According to an official press release two giant stone slabs the size of small elephants were located deep inside a cavern abutting Aeolis Mons, a large mountain.

Upon one tablet is a copy of the Ten Commandments and the text of John 3:16 written in 12 languages — including English, Spanish, Chinese, Basque and Hebrew. On the other tablet is a simple message in English reading "I am real."

By the following day links and excerpts referencing this article were being circulated via social media (and were still being circulated and reposted several months later), with many of those who encountered it mistaking it for a genuine news article. However, this article was just a bit of humor written as a spoof on religion: as noted in the Daily Currant's "About" page, that web site deals strictly in satire:

The Daily Currant is an English language online satirical newspaper that covers global politics, business, technology, entertainment, science, health and media.

Q. Are your news stories real?

A. No. Our stories are purely fictional. However they are meant to address real-world issues through satire and often refer and link to real events happening in the world

Last updated:   3 December 2013

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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