Flies do what space sex geckos can’t

“So you’re telling me all I have to do is get on a satellite with four female geckos and I can have all the sex I want? I accept.”


  • Russia’s space agency sent five geckos into space to observe reproduction in zero gravity
  • That’s right … space sex geckos
  • For several days, mission control lost contact with the satellite
  • If you want to know what happened to the geckos you actually need to read the story

Editor’s note: Each week in “Apparently This Matters,” CNN’s Jarrett Bellini applies his warped sensibilities to trending topics in social media and random items of interest on the Web.

(CNN) — Since the beginning of time, man has looked up into the cosmos at those shiny, twinkling stars and thought, “I wonder if lizards would do each other up there?”

So, finally, after all these years, and for the sake of humanity, Russian scientists decided to find out once and for all.

Because Russia.

Really, it was that or another inconclusive nesting doll experiment. And, somehow, stacking little wooden Gorbachevs doesn’t quite have the same pizazz as closely monitoring outer-space lizard whoopee.

Thus, the world recently got introduced to Russia’s brave “Space Sex Geckos.”

“Apparently This Matters” Is Jarrett Bellini’s weekly (and somewhat random) look at social-media trends.

The idea was this: Roscosmos (Russia’s federal space agency) would send five of these little critters into orbit on board a Foton-M4 satellite to study sexual reproduction in zero gravity. Four geckos would be female. One would be male. And, for the sake of the experiment, hopefully straight.

“I don’t know about that guy, Vlad. He’s always watching ‘Antiques Roadshow.’ “

Assuming that they properly picked out a willing male gecko with a healthy libido, good looks and/or an impressive bank account, their hope was that the quintet of lizards would get into space and then violate each other in the most orderly way possible.

“How much room is there on board for whipped cream? Because I have lots of whipped cream.”

Fortunately, they were Russian. So, I’m pretty sure the lizards already knew how to queue.

And if that wasn’t weird enough, there would also be cameras on board so that scientists back on land could observe the space coitus. Yes, grown professionals, many with fancy degrees, were literally going to have to sit around and watch live lizard porn.

So, they had that going for them.

After choosing the lucky participants, on July 19th Roscosmos launched their (possibly fur-lined) satellite into space for what they hoped would be two full months of this bizarre Gecko Rumspringa.

But soon, after just several orbits, things went bad. Mission control lost contact with the satellite.

“Come in, space sex geckos. Come in. Moan once with desire if you can hear me.”

But, seriously, who knew the lizards wouldn't survive inside of this thing?

But, seriously, who knew the lizards wouldn’t survive inside of this thing?

Days later they were able to reestablish contact. However, it was unclear if the life-support system continued to function during the blackout. If not, it was unlikely that the geckos would survive.

On the plus side, had the geckos somehow become aware of their impending doom, I’m guessing there would’ve been several rounds of camera-free, super kinky, we’re-all-going-to-die lizard sex.

“Hey, ladies! Look who brought whipped cream and tiny handcuffs!”

As the Russian space agency began sharing updates with the public, it quickly became a running joke online. The space sex geckos were suddenly famous to the world.

But probably dead, for their clumsy end was perilously near. Which sort of takes the fun out of being international lizard celebrities.

Nevertheless, they were stars. Even comedian John Oliver, on his HBO show “Last Week Tonight,” latched on to the story and started the Twitter hashtag #GoGetThoseGeckos.

However, on Monday, a couple weeks short of its intended stay in space, the satellite came crashing back down to Earth, where the world finally learned the fate of the space sex geckos.

In a statement, Roscosmos later confirmed their worst fear. Something went horribly wrong.

And the lizards … they have died.

Frozen and mummified from having expired at least a week prior to impact, the tiny remains of the space sex geckos were recovered from a quiet field where the craft landed. Fallen heroes. Possibly aroused.

But it wasn’t only death and failure. Because a colony of fruit flies was also put on board for the mission, and they were found healthy and alive in a different chamber of the satellite. And, apparently, they managed to do what the lizards likely couldn’t. The nasty.

In fact, at the expense of God-knows-how-many rubles, new generations of offspring were conceived while in orbit. And now — lucky us — the world has more fruit flies.

Because Russia.

Follow @JarrettBellini on Twitter. And prepare to be underwhelmed.

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