Sure, landing humans on the moon was a great achievement — one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind, all that jazz. But haven't you ever wondered how your favorite pastry would do out there in the great unknown? We already know, thanks to science, what would happen to a piece of rugelach in the Arctic (it would freeze) or a Danish in the depths of the ocean (it might lose some of its cheesy flavor). Until now, however, no one has ever tested what might happen if a donut, America's — and apparently Sweden's — favorite pastry, had to go it alone through outer space. It sounds like a plotline from a Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode, but now it's real life; two Swedish brothers successfully launched the first donut into space.
What ultimately happened to the pastry, you may ask? The dessert — which appeared to be a pink frosted sprinkle donut, a crowd-pleasing choice that contrasts well with the dark shades of outer space — made it out alive! Attached to a levitating device with a small video camera, the donut lifted off from a park in Norway and made it almost 20 miles above the Earth's surface before the balloon carrying the vessel exploded.
Brothers Alexander and Benjamin Jönsson conducted their experiment in Norway because the country's government, unlike that of Sweden, would issue them a free permit to launch stuff into space.
The donut landed in Lake Vättern, where Swedish Sea Rescue Society personnel bravely ventured out to save the vessel and its precious cargo. Happily, it made it back in (mostly) one piece. But the Jönssons' beloved donut isn't the first bizarre, if delicious, object to be projected into space. Please welcome the seven weirdest things people have decided to launch into outer space just because they can.
In 2013, Brooklyn-based band Anamanaguchi sent a piece of pizza into space to get a cool shot for a new music video. Ah, the youth of today. However, they were not the first: in 2000, Pizza Hut became the first company to deliver pizza to people living in the International Space Station.
Space superfans take the business of Star Wars so seriously that NASA sent Luke Skywalker's original lightsaber into the great unknown inside the shuttle Discovery, along with seven astronauts.
This article has truly led me to Google some things that I would not want the Criminal Minds agents finding on my search history. Anyway, in 1965, inspiration to us all John Young smuggled a fresh corned beef sandwich onboard the Gemini 3, NASA's first two-man space mission. According to records, he reached into his spacesuit pocket and just pulled it out for a snack, much to the surprise of copilot Gus Grissom. Sadly, the taste test lasted only 10 seconds before the sandwich started to fall apart.
The man himself spent 450 days in outer space, probably living la vida loca.
Sea Urchin Sperm
Adding to the list of odd things done For Science, researchers once studied the behavior of sea urchin sperm that had been blasted into outer space. In fairness, they did find some interesting results: apparently in microgravity, sperm move faster.
In 2010, private company SpaceX — whose CEO is Elon Musk — launched a wheel of cheese into the great unknown to honor Monty Python.
One Single Lamb Chop
It appears lots of people feel the need to send food into space. At least this guy sent a fork along with it, so any lucky aliens will have a way to enjoy their find.
Images: Getty Images (5), YouTube/First Donut In Space