An image of the Moon Cube from China's lunar lander depicting a square-shaped object on the surface of the moon.

Moon Cube

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Updated Jan 12, 2022 at 10:23AM EST by Philipp.

Added Dec 07, 2021 at 08:27AM EST by Philipp.

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About

The Moon Cube, also referred to as Mystery Hut, is a cubic-shaped object discovered by the Chinese Yutu-2 lunar rover in early December 2021. The discovery inspired viral discussions, memes and pop culture references on social media shortly after it appeared online. In January 2022, the rover took closer photographs of the object, revealing that the object was a rock.

Origin

On December 3rd, 2021, Space News journalist Andrew Jones reported[1] that Chinese lunar rover Yutu-2 discovered a cubic shape in the Von Kármán crater, approximately 80 meters to the North from the rover's position (tweet and photograph shown below, left and right).

The object was named "mystery hut" (ch. "神秘小屋 / shenmi xiaowu"). According to Jones, the rover would be spending the next two to three lunar days moving closer to the object.


JONES Andrew Jones ... @AJ_FI Ah. We have an update from Yutu-2 on the lunar far side, including an image of a cubic shape on the northern horizon ~80m away from the rover in Von Kármán crater. Referred to as "# " ("mystery house"), the next 2-3 lunar days will be spent getting closer to check it out. 2:56 AM · Dec 3, 2021 · Twitter Web App

In an additional tweet,[2] Jones made a prediction that the object could be a large boulder excavated by an impact.

Spread

In the following days, multiple media outlets reported on the discovery, including articles by Space[3] and Cnet.[4] On December 4th, 2021, Redditor switch182 made a post about the discovery in the /r/space[5] subreddit, where it gained over 7,500 upvotes in three days. On December 5th, 2021, Twitter[6] account @latestinspace reported on it, with the tweet gaining over 6,900 retweets and 45,600 likes (shown below).


Latest in space @latestinspace ... : Mysterious cube-shaped anomaly discovered on the moon's far side by Chinese rover NEWS The rover will spend the next 2-3 months verifying it 4:39 PM · Dec 5, 2021 - Twitter Web App

In the following days, users on Twitter, Reddit and other social media posted memes and jokes referencing the news. For example, on December 5th, 2021, Twitter[7] user @CommieC0n posted an ironic meme that gained over 380 retweets and 7,300 likes in two days (shown below, left). On the same day, Twitter[8] user @PeptoState posted an Always Has Been meme that received over 3,400 retweets and 23,000 likes in the same period (shown below, right).


МON CUBE Peptostate @PeptoState ... hold on a second...zoom in...enhance!

Memes referencing the "moon cube" maintained prominence online in early December 2021, with users editing various objects into the photograph.

Closer Examination

On January 7th, 2022, Twitter[9] account @latestinspace reported that the "moon cube" was found out to be a rock of roughly rectangular shape (tweet shown below, left; photographs shown below, center and right).


Katie Mack @Astrokatie Mysterious structure on desolate lifeless world covered in rocks is, predictably, rock O Latest in space @latestinspace · Jan 7 BREAKING: China's lunar rover finally made it to the "cube-shaped anomaly" it photographed last month It was just a moon rock 10:11 AM - Jan 7, 2022 · Twitter for iPhone

Various Examples


wattles ... @itiswattles Minecraft O Latest in space @latestinspace · Dec 5 NEWS : Mysterious cube-shaped anomaly discovered on the moon's far side by Chinese rover The rover will spend the next 2-3 months verifying it Show this thread 10:31 PM · Dec 5, 2021 - Twitter for iPhone
Mauricio | Browntable y @Browntable_Ent It's the Allspark, the Autobots been hiding that s--- on the dark side of the moon O Latest in space @latestinspace · Dec 5 NEWS : Mysterious cube-shaped anomaly discovered on the moon's far side by Chinese rover The rover will spend the next 2-3 months verifying it Show this thread 12:56 AM - Dec 7, 2021 · Twitter for iPhone

Search Interest

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