New York Times writes bogus claim of watermelons found on Mars

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Space cadets at the New York Times published a wacky online article Tuesday claiming that watermelons had been discovered on the Red Planet, a report said.

“Fields of Watermelons Found on Mars, Police Say,’’ according to the bizarre now-deleted blurb — which was written under the byline “Joe Schmoe,’’ said the Web site futurism.com.

“Authorities say rise of fruit aliens is to blame for glut of outer space watermelons,’’ the kooky snippet continued. “The FBI declined to comment on reports of watermelons raining down, but confirmed that kiwis have been intercepted.

“This story is terribly boring,’’ the short added before a final line underneath, “watermelon taste good, police say.’’

The posting — which was part of an online internal test by the Times — went up at 2:19 p.m. and was yanked down within the hour, futurism said.

It was replaced with a notice saying, “This article was published in error.”

A Times spokeswoman later told The Post in an e-mail, “Earlier today, a mock article intended for a testing system was published on our site in error. The article has since been removed.”

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