Have you ever wondered what Mars tastes like? Well, some people on Twitter surely wanted to know when Kyle Morgenstein, a first-year MS/Ph.D. student at the University of Texas at Austin tweeted a photo of a Martian rock sample.
On April 9, he 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 space rock in question is actually part of a meteorite. So far, all Mars missions like NASA’s Opportunity rover have been one-way trips, with no ability to return home with physical samples. However, plenty of Martian meteorites have already made their way to Earth, giving scientists something to study. Or in this case, lick.
Initially, when someone asked him what it tasted like, Kyle replied, ‘I refuse to contaminate it, I haven’t even touched it! It stays in a temp + humidity-controlled plastic mini showcase most of the time lol.’
“Twitter is a great place for scientists to share ideas and contribute with people all over the world”
Science twitter: pic.twitter.com/aBKwHGr9HM
— Juano (@Juana_LaCubana_) April 9, 2021
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.
— Kyle 🚀🦈🪐🦖 (@KyleMorgenstein) April 10, 2021
After one day, several users’ prayers were answered. ‘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.’