A few days back, a prominent French scientist named Etienne Klein posted a picture on Twitter with the caption, “Photo of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, located 4.2 light years from us. She was taken by the JWST. This level of detail… A new world is revealed day after day.”

He claimed that the picture was taken from a James Webb Space Telescope, and like most of the things on the internet, this image also went viral with over 20,000 likes and 2,000 retweets. But, in reality, it was just a really good quality picture of a… wait for it… chorizo! And some users rightly pointed so.

He later admitted that the image is indeed that of a sausage. “Well, when it’s time for the aperitif, cognitive biases seem to have a field day… Beware, then, of them. According to contemporary cosmology, no object belonging to Spanish charcuterie exists anywhere but on Earth.”

He also added, “In view of some comments, I feel compelled to clarify that this tweet showing an alleged snapshot of Proxima Centauri was a form of amusement. Let us learn to be wary of arguments from authority as much as of the spontaneous eloquence of certain images.”

Klein, who is the director of France’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission apologised and took to Twitter to clarify that it was, in fact, a picture of a chorizo. He said, “I come to apologize to those whom my hoax, which was in no way original, may have shocked. I simply wanted to urge caution with images that seem eloquent on their own.”

Twitter, of course, wasn’t happy about this and blamed him for even plagiarising Twitter jokes.

One user wrote, “Etienne Klein even plagiarizes Twitter jokes.”

Another said he should have at least given the credit when using someone else’s joke.

Another said, being a scientist he should be vary of sharing false information.

Some favoured the scientist saying a joke should be taken as a joke.

Well, considering everything, the next time you see something on the internet, take it with a grain of salt.

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