Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
We already have 11 comic explanations!
(But there are still 1902 to go. Come and add yours!)
Go to this comic
Title text: Every time we detect an asteroid from outside the Solar System, we should immediately launch a mission to fling one of our asteroids back in the direction it came from.
|| This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Edited by a 180m aubergine. Please change this joke when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.|
ʻOumuamua is the first detection of an interstellar asteroid passing through the Solar System originating from another solar system.
Megan's list of objects with a similar shape ratio:
As soon as Megan lists off the last item, she is about to start speculating within her own speculative scenario about who or what might be in the coffin, before being interrupted by Cueball. Cueball attempts to bring Megan back down to earth by reminding her that she has too little data to work with, but Megan is far too excitable to listen to reason. The dangers of speculating irresponsibly, it would seem.
It could also be argued that Megan with this makes fun of many news outlets whose first reaction to a new space body often seems to be to search for something to compare its shape to, such as with the 'rubber duck' comet. Making fun on media covering science news is a recurring theme on xkcd.
The title text suggests taking reciprocal action by sending asteroids away when the solar system receives them. This would of course be impossible. On top of that, it appears to imply that some non-human entity is sending these rocks, which is an inane idea.
|| This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
- [Megan walks towards Cueball while looking at her phone. Cueball sits in front of his laptop.]
- Megan: Hey, you know that asteroid that tumbled past from another star system? It's apparently really long and skinny.
- Megan: Like a ratio of 6:1 or 10:1.
- Cueball: Weird. Wonder what it's shaped like.
- [Megan lowers her phone and looks up. Cueball looks backward.]
- Megan: Without more data, it would be irresponsible to speculate further.
- Cueball: So...you're going to?
- Megan: Absolutely.
- [Frameless panel:]
- Megan: Here are some objects with a similar shape ratio:
- Megan: The 1:4:9 monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- Megan: A star destroyer.
- Megan: A huge eggplant emoji.
- Megan: A statue of Weird Al. An iPhone XXXXX. Voltron.
- Megan: A giant space coffin. But who could be inside? We can only guess. I'll start:
- Cueball: This is all based on how many data points, again?
- Megan: One. But it's a perfect fit!
Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the explain xkcd wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.
- List of all comics contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links (like this) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them!
Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations, feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.
If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.
Please only submit material directly related to—and helping everyone better understand—xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.) Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users posting such are at risk of being blocked.
If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is here.
Explain xkcd logo courtesy of User:Alek2407.