Scandal erupted in the astrozoology community today as a photo purporting to be the first documented evidence of space frogs in our galaxy turned out to be a fake.
The picture (shown above) was taken during this week’s launch of the LADEE lunar dust mission from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, and seemed to be the first confirmation that the galaxy was inhabited by the giant space-faring amphibians. NASA later announced that frog actually belonged to LADEE.
One NASA engineer, who requested anonymity because it was his job to keep things like this from happening, explained the snafu. “LADEE was told a dozen times that she wasn’t allowed to bring any pets on her trip to the moon, but she’s just been acting out lately. Apparently she smuggled the frog onboard the rocket without anyone knowing. The liftoff was particularly loud and dusty, and I guess the frog got spooked and jumped out the window.”
The incident added fuel to the already contentious controversy about the discovery of IRAS 20324+4057, which has been alternatively described as a cosmic caterpillar and an interstellar tadpole. The discovery of a flotilla of cosmic butterflies seems to have tipped the discussion in favor of the caterpillar contingent. Some believe that tadpole enthusiasts were simply engaged in wishful thinking, while others suspect outright fraud. The Department of Homeland Security is investigating any connection between this incident and a string of recent frog photobombings.
The controversial photograph was immediately repudiated by the Consortium of Bright and/or Hot Stars. Hot Star spokeswoman Scarlett Johansson (pictured below preparing to examine an Earth caterpillar for evidence that Maybe it had originated on Mars and arrived on a meteorite), denounced NASA for its error. “What kind of stupid name is Wallops for a launch facility?”
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