WASHINGTON—Saying the groundbreaking discovery could help shed new light on the history of the Red Planet, NASA announced Friday that a diving board found on Mars confirmed that the planet may have at one point contained water. “While the board itself is now completely cracked and arid, the very fact of its existence means that we can state with a high degree of certainty that water once appeared on the Martian surface,” said NASA acting administrator Robert M. Lightfoot Jr., telling reporters that after studying the length and springiness of the board, scientists had concluded that the surrounding water source had a maximum depth of 8 feet, though it likely tapered into a shallow end on the opposite side. “If you look closely, you can see indications of water damage on the board’s finish, as well as a slight rusting around the metal springs. We also uncovered a few desiccated fragments of what we believe was once a lifeguard chair in close proximity.” Lightfoot added that the presence of water did not necessarily suggest life on Mars, as any source near the diving board would most likely not have been potable due to high levels of chlorine.
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