Russia’s space agency has confirmed that the five geckos, launched into space to test the effects of zero gravity on gecko sex, have died.
The deaths of the sex geckos were discovered when the Foton-M4 satellite carrying the geckoes returned to earth on Monday – with five dead geckos. With four female lizards and one male on board, Russian scientists had hoped to learn how zero gravity would affect the sexual habits of geckos (a very important study). Instead they learned that geckos don’t fare so well in space. The space lizards appeared to have frozen to death after a heating system malfunction, but the Russians won’t confirm an official cause of death.
“We can say with confidence that they died at least a week before the landing because their bodies were partly mummified,” said an official from Russia’s Institute of Medical and Biological Problems.
John Oliver must be devastated. Back in July, when Russia first reported that it had lost contact with the satellite, John Oliver issued a call on his HBO show “Last Week Tonight,” to save the five gecko cosmonauts. With the hashtag #GoGetThoseGeckos, Oliver urged viewers to write letters to Russian President Vladimir Putin to rescue the lost sex geckos.
On a positive note, the Russians listened to the pleas of the public and they did go get those geckos. But on a not-s0-positive note, they were dead. #fuckthegeckosdied