On April 1, Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce his upcoming investment to UC Riverside’s entomology department. The investment of approximately $3.14 million would be used to create a new insect-based milkshake for the colonization of Mars.
Elon Musk is the cofounder and CEO of Tesla, Inc., co-founder of PayPal and founder and CEO of SpaceX. SpaceX is a private American space transportation and aerospace manufacturer founded in 2002. It is the first private company to send and receive cargo from the International Space Station (ISS) and recover a spacecraft which was in low-Earth orbit. However, the main goal of SpaceX is to be able send humans to space and colonize Mars.
“The colonization of Mars is not too far into the future,” Musk has stated repeatedly, which has prompted him to launch an initiative to research the prerequisites for the long-term stay of humans on Mars.
The official statement Musk published one day after his tweet explains how the insect milkshake would provide the necessary proteins and calories for those on Mars while minimizing the weight of cargo. To send a pound of cargo to space costs approximately $10,000. By changing the food intake to an insect diet, those on Mars would be able to receive approximately the same amount of protein and calories they would otherwise receive from beef or chicken, at a significantly lower cost.
The UCR entomology department has officially stated that they plan on accepting Musk’s investment and help create this new milkshake. UC Riverside has one of the top entomology programs in the nation, with an award-winning faculty specializing in a diverse range of research from analyzing insect morphology to the conservation of certain insect species.
UCR Entomology Department Chair and Professor Richard Redak stated, “We are honored to have Elon Musk invest in our department. I have no doubts that this entomology department will make the best milkshake this world has even seen.”
The insect that would be used for the milkshake has not been decided, however the UCR Entomology department explained they were heavily weighing having the milkshake produced from mealworms. Mealworms are the larva, the second stage of metamorphosis, of mealworm beetles. They contain approximately 24 grams of protein per 100 grams of mealworms. However, another candidate for the insect milkshake would be crickets. While they do not provide the same amount of protein as the mealworms, they would provide 357 milligrams of potassium per 100 grams of cricket.
While the insect milkshake has been confirmed to be used for the colonization of Mars, rumors have sprouted that the milkshake would also be used for Musk’s consumption. The rumors derive from Musk’s past membership of the internationally renowned Milkshake Drinking Club at the University of Pennsylvania.
Musk has stated that trying unusual milkshakes was “just my college years. I have no intention of making the insect milkshake part of my breakfast.”
The announcement of the investment has received mixed reactions. While some have regarded this new move as a realistic and innovative approach to colonization on Mars, others have stated that those on Mars would not want to consume this new milkshake, citing the public’s outrage over the cochineal bugs that were once in the strawberry frappuccino from a popular coffee shop.
Jacinda Tutku from Moondustries, a worldwide company which deals with the colonization of the moon, disregarded the complaints, saying, “if those who go to Mars are willing to leave their whole life on Earth I don’t think they would mind having to eat insects now.”
The expected date of this upcoming milkshake project would begin May of this year.
Editor’s Note: This article is a part of The Highlander’s annual April Fool’s issue and it’s contents are not to be taken seriously whatsoever. But do have a good laugh.