Nerd Victory Alert: Pluto’s Moon Gets Named “Vulcan”

Now we’re going to get pantsed by aliens.

Now we’re going to get pantsed by aliens. 

For a group of people who might seem less than threatening individually, Trekkies wield considerable clout in terms of sheer numbers. They don’t just have the uncanny ability to keep the Star Trek franchise alive as a viable entertainment enterprise – a divine miracle for a show that started on NBC, where good television goes to die – they also have the ability to swing the vote in terms of what we name parts of the solar system. No, you didn’t misread that: Just two days ago, rabid Trekkies voted en masse in an online poll to name a new moon orbiting the former planet Pluto. Their choice? Vulcan. Yeah, that’s right – the planet Mr. Spock came from. 

Now, we shouldn’t put all the blame at their possibly webbed feet – they were egged on considerably by their idols, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, which is irresponsible at best. Think about it: We used to name our planets and moons after badass mythological creatures – powerful war and sex deities from Greek and Roman mythology like Mars, Saturn and Venus. These names represented power and superiority and demanded respect from any life forms out there, assuming that they exist. Hell, for all we know, having a tough name like Mars slapped on the Red Planet was the only thing that scared the aliens into canceling their world domination plans. Now that we have a moon named after a Star Trek fan’s wet dream, we could be one step closer to inviting the total enslavement of the human race by tentacle beasts from beyond the stars. Not to be alarmist, or anything. 

We’ll leave you with this hugely disappointing fact: The runner-up in the naming poll was Cerberus. That’s right – the massive, three-headed dog that guarded the gates of the Underworld in Greek legend. That is a sweet fucking thing for a moon to be named after, people. Vulcan? Not so much. It doesn’t matter that Vulcan was also the name of the Roman god of fire – everyone knows the intention here, and it has nothing to do with molten lava and a giant, metal-smiting hammer – it’s all about pointy ears and sky-blue sweaters. Sorry folks, this one’s less “live long and prosper” than “curl up in a ball and slowly die of embarrassment.”

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