Is there any truth to the rumors that cosmic rays from Mars will be hitting the earth, prompting warnings for people to keep their cell phones turned off?
It’s a hoax.
This rumor has been going around – virtually unchanged – for at least 4 years, via email, text messaging, and social media. Below is a text message version sent to us recently:
During 12:30 to 3:30 am, pls turn off ur cell phones, Cosmic Rays are entering the earth from Mars. Keep it away from u during this period, and especially dont put it under ur pillow. Msg from Nasas, u can check google if u want
This rumor appears to have been started several years ago, as seen on this 2008 post, it and has resurfaced several times since. In 2012 it reappeared as an April Fool’s joke to some, which quickly shedded its “joke” status and became a full-blown hoax the same month. While it was probably funny on April 1, by April 4 this “news” was being passed around without the obligatory ”April Fools” at the end. This blogger did an excellent job of debunking the rumor a mere week after the 2012 outbreak of the rumor.
Despite dismissal of the rumor by many, another surge of rumors occurred in August 2012, prompting bloggers such as this one to try yet again to debunk the rumor. Here in late September the rumor is circulating yet again, so we are taking our shot at helping to debunk the myth.
The rumor itself doesn’t hold any water when viewed under scrutiny:
- Planets do not emit cosmic rays. Some have suggested that Mars could reflect cosmic rays, but even if that is true, it would certainly not be significant.
- Our atmosphere protects against cosmic rays.
- The only likely effect of cosmic rays on cell phones would be related to satellite communication, as satellites can be affected by cosmic rays without the earth’s protective atmosphere.
- There is no evidence that cell phone batteries on earth are affected by cosmic rays.
Is it Dangerous to Sleep With a Cell Phone Under Your Pillow?
Filed under: Hoaxes & Rumors