Nope, I’m not talking about ‘news’ of a moon landing some 134 years before it really happened (allegedly).
This hoax is actually far more unbelievable, not least because of the goats!
In this day and age if a newspaper deliberately published a hoax in order to increase their circulation numbers then they would, April Fool’s Day and niche titles aside, probably find themselves out of business pretty quickly.
Also, since the advent of the internet, they would almost certainly be found out within minutes!
Back in 1835, however, things were a little different for the New York Sun who published a series of articles about the recent discovery of life on the moon.
They made their outrageous claims sound factual by attributing the info to one of the leading astronomers at the time, Sir John Herschel.
Some people think the Apollo 11 moon landings were faked because of the presence of aliens on the moon but the Sun chose to write about far more well-known inhabitants such as goats, as well as more fanciful creatures including the mythical unicorn, as well as unusual creatures with bat-like wings.
It is also possible that the Sun wrote the story to make fun of some other fanciful moon-related claims at the time which included a claim from Thomas Dick that the moon had a population of 4.2 billion and a Munich professor’s assertion that there were buildings on the moon.
Even though the story was outed as a hoax within a few weeks the paper never retracted their assertions and ultimately ceased publication in 1850.