Magazine article Geographical

Warm Thoughts from a Martian Observer. (Prize Letter)

Magazine article Geographical

Warm Thoughts from a Martian Observer. (Prize Letter)

Article excerpt

At ten minutes to midnight on New Year's Eve a Martian space craft landed in Aberdeen, Scotland. A crew member raised the hatch and looked around. He made measurements and observed. At midnight they closed the hatch and took off back to Mars. When they got back to Mars, Mission Control asked what it was like on Earth. The crew reported, "It's really cold, dark, the buildings are all made of granite, the men wear skirts and everyone is drunk."

"Surely not?" Mission Control queried. The crew responded, "No, it's definite, we have the data to prove it."

Since the Earth is around 4.5 billion years old, the value of basing a Martian report on the Earth from selective data gathered over a period of ten minutes in an Earth year is equivalent to basing a report on longer term Earth trends on 95,000 years of observation. In the last 95,000 years on Earth, we have seen massive flooding and major temperature changes in both directions. Ten thousand years ago Scotland was still covered in ice. One hundred million years ago, all the oil and gas reserves that now exist offshore of chilly Aberdeen were being laid down in a tropical, estuarine environment. Subsequently there have been major meteorite strikes, eruptions and other events that have affected our environment. …

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