Moon Hoax

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