Watermelons have probably not been discovered on Mars, even if The New York Times bizarrely, and briefly, claimed they had been.
The prestigious newspaper published – then quickly deleted – an article on Tuesday describing the amazing find, according to reports.
“Authorities say rise of fruit aliens is to blame for glut of outer space watermelons,” the story read, according to Futurism.
“The FBI declined to comment on reports of watermelons raining down, but confirmed that kiwis have been intercepted.”
The article, which was attributed to a “Joe Schmoe”, stayed live on The New York Times website for less than an hour before being deleted and replaced with a message that read “This article was published in error.”
The newspaper confirmed that it had been caused by a simple mistake made in the newspaper’s content management system.
“Earlier today, a mock article intended for a testing system was published on our site in error. The article has since been removed,” the newspaper confirmed in a statement to The Independent.
NASA says that there is currently no evidence of life on Mars, and it has had the Perseverance Rover working on the surface of the planet since February.
It has sent back to Earth more than 75,000 photos in its 100 days on Mars, which saw it make the first ever sound recording there, but has not reported back any fruit or vegetable discoveries.
China landed its own rover on Mars last month and has this week published its first pictures from the planet’s surface.
Its Zhurong rover is a solar-powered vehicle designed to last at least 90 days on the surface of Mars.
The Independent has reached out to The New York Times for comment.