In August 1835 citizens in New York City received extraordinary news. According to the New York Sun, the British astronomer Sir John Herschel had found proof of life on the moon.
Using an enormously powerful telescope able to magnify objects 42,000 times, Sir John had distinguished a wide range of flora and fauna with astonishing clarity. In just one area of the moon, the newspaper disclosed, he had observed 38 species of forest trees, twice that number of other plants, and different creatures, including small reindeer like animals, elks, moose, bears with horns, and beavers with no tails and only two feet.Each issue of the newspaper brought new revelations, reported by journalist Richard Adam Locke and based on Sir John’s accounts in the highly respected Edinburgh Journal of Science. Day after day Locke told astonished readers of lunar amethysts more than 60 feet high, immense fields of poppies, a great temple made of sapphire, and herds of buffalo with fleshy appendages over their eyes that protected them from the damaging extremes of light and darkness.
Even more intriguing was the discovery of lunar inhabitants that were semi human in form: they stood four feet tall, were covered with glossy, copper-colored hair and, from the expression on their yellowish faces, were clearly intelligent. They also had wings on their backs. They talked in an animated fashion, bathed in lakes, and flew.
(No verão de 1835, o jornal New York Sun publicou vários artigos sobre a descoberta de vida na lua por um astrônomo inglês. Via Coisas do Arco da Velha)