Wednesday, February 3, 2016

No They Didn't Find Marijuana On A Meteorite and A Reverse Image Search Is Your Friend

Making a buzz on the interwebs is the story of NASA finding THC on a meteorite found in a Nevada desert in 2010.   Probably near some top secret military black ops skunkworks facility...or near a broken down RV that didn't quite make it to that year's Burning Man gathering. 
Articles detailing the story imagine that if a component of the sticky icky can be found on a meteorite then what sort of effects would all of the other dank space rocks that have fallen to Earth have on Earth's lifeforms.  Only a passing mention of NASA and no links to NASA press releases of course but plenty of bad puns about "getting high".  Nor is there any explanation of how a complex molecule formed in the harsh cold of space or how the THC survived the searing heat of entering Earth's atmosphere. Details, shmetails, Planet Weed is out there and we need to give NASA more funding to find it!
Luckily the articles tell us that James Han and his team at the University of Hawaii are on the case, studying the meteorite. 
Unnnnnfortunately...the man in the picture is not James Han, that's not the University of Hawaii and they're not studying a meteorite that had THC on it. 

How do we know?  Well we didn't know at first but the lack of pertinent details along with the fact that unscrupulous click bait websites routinely use stock or misappropriated pictures left me skeptical and curious. 
A simple web search offers lots of retellings of the story but no links to any credible sources, including NASA.  So let's dig deeper.  Let's do a reverse image search!
There we find the usual suspects. Satire sites, Marijuana blogs and UFO pages.  Also on the list...a link to the original article about a research team at University of Wisconsin-Madison studying meteorites found in Wisconsin, not Nevada and no mention of THC. 

So, sorry you Frisbee chucking cheeba monkeys, Planet Weed did not explode sending marijuana filled meteors hurtling through space towards Earth to give us super stoney powers.  

Because no one found THC on a meteorite and a reverse image search is your friend. 

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