Iran Might Have Faked Its Monkey Launch

British newspapers examine photos, smell a rat
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2013 3:23 PM CST
Iran Might Have Faked Its Monkey Launch
In this undated image taken from AP Television, scientists in Iran surround the space monkey (supposedly).   (AP Photo/AP Video)

Iran announced with great fanfare this week that it launched a monkey into space and brought him home safely. Hold the trumpets, though: British newspapers the Times, the Telegraph, and the Independent now say, or at least strongly suggest, that Iran is lying. Why? In part because the monkey celebrated at a news conference after the supposed return trip looks different than the one that went up. One has some kind of a mole above the right eye and the other doesn't. The link to the Independent here has a decent before-and-after comparison.

"The likely explanations are either that the original monkey died during its flight and Iran didn't want to admit it, or that the flight never happened at all," writes Rosie Gray at BuzzFeed. Even before the monkey photos surfaced, BuzzFeed reported that scientists were skeptical that Iran could have achieved the feat. (Read more Iran stories.)

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