matt damon in 'the martian'

Screengrab via 20th Century Fox/YouTube

Maybe a giant meteor should just wipe us out now and get it over with.

Ridley Scott’s The Martian has an impressive 93% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It pulled in a whopping $55 million on its opening weekend. It is clearly is a hit film in every possible way. Its audience, however, has some major flaws.

BuzzFeed was the first to spot an odd phenomenon on Twitter: Many people think The Martian is based on a true story.

That’s right. They think that astronauts once went to Mars and left someone behind.

We decided to verify this phenomenon by checking Facebook, looking for evidence of people thinking that Matt Damon‘s struggle to survive on Mars was a genuine part of American history. 

As it turned out, Facebook digging confirmed what BuzzFeed had found on Twitter—the phenomenon is real.

Here are some of the best, funniest, and most depressing Facebook statuses conveying the belief that The Martian is based on real life. (At least most of the people who think this aren’t confident enough to put it on Facebook themselves.)

[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/erica.taithoffman/posts/10153602886767207 embed.]
[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/matthewhehe/posts/10153545032258190 embed.]
[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/m.kingsleymonks/posts/10153185959496814 embed.]
[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/madisonswart/posts/10154368746369896 embed.]

Sometimes you’re smart enough on outer space to know The Martian wasn’t based on reality but not smart enough to know which theater doors to enter.

[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/adrian.monaco.9/posts/735030728274 embed.]

We can laugh at the notion of confusing the film with reality, but let’s not forget an important truth: Those tweets had collateral damage—innocent lives have been forever changed.

The great thing about this kind of mistake is that you can feel very good about how intelligent you are. You could have failed algebra and yet you can still take heart that at least you know NASA hasn’t visited Mars yet. 

For the record, The Martian was adapted from a novel.

H/T BuzzFeed | Screengrab via 20th Century Fox/YouTube

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