By Dominic Taylor-
A first year Phd student at the university of Texas, licked a rock from space in response to petitions from twitter users him to do so.
Kyle Morgenstein responded to a tweet complaining about how nobody shows people cool rocks once they’re an adult, posting two images: one of a rock that’s 3.5 billion years old, and another from Mars. The single tweet later developed into a pool of several tweets from members of the public who wanted to see the research science student take a big step in tasting rock from space,
Morgenstein, who has a degree in aerospace engineering from MIT, was determined to take on the challenge after twitter users egged him on.
— Juano (@Juana_LaCubana_)
They started using the #LickTheSpaceRockKyle hashtag to egg him on, going as far as creating a Change.org petition.
Eventually, they won. Morgenstein posted a video of himself licking the space rock. The verdict? “Needs salt.”
Geophysicist Mika McKinnon estimates that the Martian surface might taste “bland with a hint of bloody seawater” due to a combination of basalt, iron-rich minerals, and perchlorates.
After petitions from thousands of people asked him to lick a rock, the science student actually decided to do it.
User @CharlesDWimmer then put the pressure on when he wrote, ‘Lick the space rock Kyle.’ Immediately, people became obsessed with how the rock would taste and, more importantly, getting Kyle to do the deed. Another tweet joking about the request managed to rack up more than 370,000 likes.
A petition to make Kyle lick the space rock amassed 163 signatures, while a GoFundMe hilariously raised $10. ‘Kyle has a space rock. I, and many others, want Kyle to lick the space rock. Lick the Space Rock Kyle! I will use these funds to send Kyle a package of mint Tick tack and a nice card. Lick the Space Rock Kyle,’ it reads.
On April 10, he tweeted, ‘Somehow I am once again being begged to put something in my mouth that has no business being there… we’ll see what I can do.’
The next day, the Phd student agreed to undertake the task. He said ‘Fine, y’all win. You wanna see me lick this rock so badly, I’ve been yelled at in more languages than I have fingers and toes. I’ll lick the Mars rock,’ he says in the video. After pondering the taste, he adds, ‘Hmm, needs salt.’
Geophysicist, Mika Mckinnon, took a moment to assure people Kyle’s taste-test wasn’t dangerous.
She wrote, ‘Mars has salts, even brines with halite (table salt), but those delicate evaporates can’t handle the intensity of being ejected from a planet nor the shock of Earth entry. Thus, taste test is Safe But Boring.’
It made for an interesting exercise, though not everybody was convinced the rock he actually licked came from mars.