Scientists have mixed feelings over discovery of single-use plastics on Venus

Conor Bartol, Punster Extraordinaire

The search for extraterrestrial life was given new hope a few weeks ago by the discovery of phosphine in Venus’ upper atmosphere. This discovery was tarnished, however, when astronomers detected single-use plastics in the atmosphere as well.

The existence of plastics in the Venusian atmosphere was a shock to scientists, as it not only suggests the possibility of life on the planet but intelligent life capable of self-destruction. “If plastic exists, then someone must have made it,” said a NASA spokesperson. “Perhaps beneath the clouds of Venus, there are vast factories producing bottle caps, saran wrap and bags for some alien equivalent to Doritos. Their civilization may have been as advanced, and as negligent, as ours is.”

Venus’ thick, toxic atmosphere has been compared to what Earth’s atmosphere could look like one day if climate change continues unabated, and this discovery suggests that this could be a result of alien pollution. When asked about this hypothesis, one ecologist said, “I sincerely hope that Venus’ current state is not the result of alien actions, but given events here on Earth it seems unlikely. I mean, we’ve got congressmen bringing snowballs into the senate to disprove climate change. Given how their planet looks now, I have a feeling the Venusians were up to similar things just before their extinction.”

While the discovery has given hope to the search for life, it has also had a sobering effect on scientists. One astronomer said “When I heard about the phosphine, I was ecstatic. But the plastic is a shocking disappointment. I was hoping for a Close Encounters kind of thing. These aliens seem like they have their own issues. Kind of hits too close to home.”

Another said “Having a hellscape in our solar system is fine, finding out it’s a landfill is something else entirely. They continued, “At the rate we’re going, we’ll probably have two landfills soon.”

While scientists agreed the plastic was an interesting find, there is a general atmosphere of sadness in the community after learning that, for better or for worse, aliens are just like us.