7 Strange Things That Have Been Left On the Moon
It has been over 40 years since mankind last set foot on the surface of the Moon, but that hasn't stopped it from becoming a popular destination for aspiring space travelers. Should the opportunity to visit ever arise, you probably think you know what to expect: dust, craters, and a bunch of abandoned spacecraft. But there might be a few surprises in store. Here are just a few of the weirdest things you might find on the surface of the Moon.
1. TWO GOLF BALLS
2. THE FALLEN ASTRONAUT
There isn't a huge amount of art on the moon, but there's probably more than you expect. One famous example is Fallen Astronaut, a 3.3-inch aluminum model placed on the surface by the crew of the Apollo 15. Intended—according to the accompanying plaque—to commemorate those who have died while pursuing space exploration, the sculpture was created by Belgian artist Paul Van Hoeydonck, but despite the accolade of having the first sculpture on the moon, Van Hoeydonck disputes its use, stating that he intended it to be placed upright and that it represented all humanity. Unfortunately, it's unlikely he'll get a chance to correct the orientation personally.
3. A PIECE OF LAVA FROM DEVIL'S LAKE IN OREGON
4. A CHAPTER OF THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
All three had attended the University of Michigan, so they left behind a small plaque containing the words, “This is to certify that The University of Michigan Club of The Moon is a duly constituted unit of the Alumni Association and entitled to all the rights and privileges under the Association’s Constitution.”
5. A BLANK PHOTOGRAPH
Unfortunately, the sunlight is harsh on the Moon, temperatures are extreme, and the solar radiation is untempered by any significant magnetosphere for most of its orbit. Photographic prints fade pretty quickly, even under relatively controlled conditions, so—plastic bag or not—after 44 years, there's very little chance you'll still be able to make out the picture itself.
6. AN X-RATED ANDY WARHOL DRAWING
As if to prove that anything could happen in the 1960s, when Apollo 12 went to the Moon in late 1969 it took with it a tiny ceramic wafer which contained artwork by six prominent artists. Titled Moon Museum, it contains material from Robert Rauschenberg, David Novros, John Chamberlain, Claes Oldenburg, Forrest Myers, and Andy Warhol, and was unofficially attached to the leg of the Intrepid landing module by an aircraft engineer. The module was left behind when the astronauts returned to the orbiting capsule, so it should still be up there. Warhol's drawing in the top left corner was (allegedly) a stylized version of his initials—but was labeled as phallic by many who saw it.