After an absurd viral money-grab took the internet — and, sadly, several news agencies — by storm over the past week, NASA has finally broken its silence. NASA scientist Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen took to Twitter in an attempt to set the record straight on the rumor that the government was about to announce the discovery of alien life. In case you were wondering, no, there is no forthcoming announcement that will finally answer the question of whether or not we’re alone in the universe, and if you’re even marginally skeptical about unsourced information posted on the internet, you probably didn’t even need NASA to tell you that.
The original video, which has tallied over a million clicks and also happens to have revenue-generating ads embedded in it, used quotes from Dr. Zurbuchen to tease its claim that NASA was set to reveal the discovery of life outside of Earth. The quotes, taken completely out of context, were intriguing, but nothing even remotely close to “evidence.”
“Contrary to some reports, there is no pending announcement from NASA regarding extraterrestrial life,” Dr. Zurbuchen wrote on Twitter. “Are we alone in the universe? While we do not know yet, we have missions moving forward that may help answer that fundamental question.”
Like any scientific body, NASA does its fair share of debunking ridiculous theories and claims, and is no stranger to setting the record straight. Still, the fact that the agency has had to weigh in on an absurd viral video from an “Anonymous” YouTube account is more sad than it is funny.