The planet Mars has been on the tips of human’s tongues since we first realized that we may not be alone in this universe after all. Our global fascination is becoming more and more apt as we continue to find evidence of flowing water on the surface, manned expeditions are being given away in a lottery, and the crowd-pleasing Matt Damon sci-fi drama The Martian is opening wide in theaters this weekend.
We know that Mars is the fourth planet from the sun and that rocks are as red as clay, but what else has the red planet spawned? In pop culture and beyond, here’s 11 Mars-related factoids.
1: Mars Candy Company
Founded in 1911, Mars Inc. is responsible for most of your favorite candy not owned by Hershey (M&M’s, Skittles, Milky Way, Twix) along with the rest of your pantry cabinets (Uncle Ben’s Rice, Pedigree pet food, Combos).
2: Mars the rapper
A horrorcore rapper from Pittsburg, California, Mario “Mars” Delgado has been turning heads on the independent rap circuit since 1997. He and his Mad Insanity Records crew got into a dustup with Eminem and Proof during the San Francisco date of Em’s first headlining Slim Shady tour and is sitting on new music featuring Tech N9ne that he might release this year.
3: Mars is the Roman God of War
Never in my life have I seen someone link waffles and malt liquor using Roman mythology. Bless Black Dynamite.
4: M.A.R.S. music collective
(Cor)Mega, Action Bronson, Roc Marciano, and Saigon are M.A.R.S.; formed back in 2012 and with only one song to their name, these four rhyming together is tKTKTT.
5: Total Recall was based on a short story by Phillip K. Dick, which took place on Mars.
…which is where Cohagen lost his eyes after decompressing, resulting in one of the most over-the-top villain deaths in movie history.
6: Mars hoax
Since 2003, an email claiming that Mars is moving toward Earth and will be as big as the moon has made the rounds online. Rest assured that if something like that ever happened, it would look something like this:
7: Mars only has about 38% of Earth’s gravity
Tetherball is about to get even more extreme, yo.
8: Ice Cube co-starred in John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars
Despite being a critical/commercial bomb back in 2001, this inhumanly cheesy deep space flick had a fun cast, including Cube as James “Desolation” Williams, Pam Grier, Jason Statham, and the ever-looming voice of Keith David.
9: Mars Blackman (Spike Lee)
Spike Lee chewed the hell out of the scenery as Mars Blackmon in his directorial debut She’s Gotta Have It, and a small part of me wants to know exactly what he’s been up to a la Mookie in Red Hook Summer. Maybe even the Son of Mars?
10: Martian Manhunter
J’onn ‘J’onnz is easily one of DC comics coolest heroes, with all of Superman’s powers stacked on top of shapeshifting and stretchy skin.
11: Marvin The Martian got dunked on by Blake Griffin
Marvin The Martian’s got moves, but even with that moon dunk, he’s lucky Blake Griffin didn’t pull out that jetpack from the Gamefly commercials.