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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Interstellar Asteroid
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.
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.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png 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[citation needed].

Transcript

Ambox notice.png 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!


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