One of Herschel’s most unusual proposals was that humanoids lived in cities in the craters of the Moon and populated the surface of every other celestial body. In 1835 a New York newspaper published a satirical series of articles aimed at those who still promoted such ideas. The paper described a Moon populated with fantastical creatures, observations they attributed to Herschel’s son, John, himself a successful astronomer. But many readers missed the sarcasm, and the Great Moon Hoax became one of the best-known newspaper hoaxes of all time.
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum