Fake News: NASA Did NOT Announce Plans To Launch Chimpanzee Into Sun

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

An old article from The Onion started trending earlier today titled: "NASA Announces Plans To Launch Chimpanzee Into Sun" which claimed NASA was going to launch a chimpanzee into the sun to study how it would react to so much intense heat. The article opened:

WASHINGTON--In what is being called a crucial step forward in solar exploration, NASA officials announced Wednesday a new mission to launch a chimpanzee directly into the sun. "Chimpanzees are our closest biological relative, so we can learn a great deal by observing how they react to being deposited into the sun's plasma core,"...

Of course the story is entirely fake: The Onion is a well known satire site that has been posting funny fake stories online since 1996 (and since 1988 in print). The chimpanzee article appears to be from 2014 but it looks like The Onion reposted it to facebook today causing an uptick in its popularity:

Another study of primate behaviour shows that certain biological relatives of the chimpanzee are sharing the hoax around widely as you can see in the Trendolizer graph at the end of this article. If you notice anyone spreading the fake story as real you can help by pointing them to this article here because nobody likes being made a monkey by satirical news.

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