Dang, what stinks?

Every once in a while, I like to write an informative column for all y’all who might not have access to scientific publications, scholarly journals or mind-altering elixirs. Some folks just don’t have the mental acuity to fully grasp certain scientific theories, or perhaps they just don’t read anything besides unsubstantiated Facebook posts and obscure tweets. Well, as a member of the scientific community, I think it’s my duty to share a fascinating discovery about one of the planets in our celestial neighborhood.

Recently, a group of British astronomers using the powerful Gemini telescope were able to determine that the cloud bank that hovers over Uranus contains the malodorous gas hydrogen sulfide. For those of y’all who aren’t familiar with unsavory vapors, hydrogen sulfide is the gas associated with rotten eggs and the squeaky emissions from mammalian derrieres. Okay, for y’all who don’t speak French, I’m talking about smelly poots. You know, cutting the cheese. Lettin’ one slip. SBD.

Astronomers have known for a while that there is methane gas surrounding Uranus. It’s what gives the planet that pretty blue appearance. The Voyager 2 probe informed scientists that the clouds surrounding the planet definitely contains gas, but after a closer look into Uranus, the Brits determined there is some stinky hydrogen sulfide gas mixed in. That’s right, folks, in our solar system, Uranus is the smelliest thing out there.

Y’all might wonder why that would concern us here on Earth. Oh, I don’t know. It took a wad of money to tell us that one of our planets is flatulent. Why are we spending a fortune sending people and probes out into space when we should be spending that money here on Earth? Now, I don’t mind them sending up satellites. How else am I gonna be able to tune into a European soccer match and take an hour nap in front of my TV?

There’s some talk about sending folks to Mars, and maybe some day in the distant future, we’ll build a colony on the Red Planet. Even if I live long enough to see that day, I wouldn’t want to live on Mars. Not a single tree on the entire rock. Where am I supposed to sit and drink my beer? No, sir! You can just leave me and my Yeti back here on Earth.

I hear it’d take years to fly to Mars, and it’s even a longer voyage up to Uranus. And once you get there, you’ll step out of your rocket ship, take a big whiff of fresh air and say, “My gawd! What stinks?” Who knows? After spending a decade soaring through space, closed up in a tin can with a dozen people and no washing machine, the atmosphere on Uranus might be quite refreshing.

You know, if we could capture that gas from Uranus, we could use it here on Earth as an energy source. Anyone who watched Blazing Saddles is aware of the combustibility of methane gas. If we run a pipe from Uranus to my propane tank, I could take two, maybe three hot showers a week, but I bet some citizens on Jupiter or Saturn would protest over the pipeline.

I kinda feel sorry about Uranus. With a name like that, I bet as a young planet it was the butt of a lot of jokes. That Neptune, known for his witty sense of humor, would enter a crowded galaxy and say, “Did the toilet explode or is that Uranus?” Or “Is Jupiter burning his trash again or is Uranus gassy again?” Oh, what a kidder! 

Hey, it’s not fair to ostracize Uranus just because it’s passing gas. It’s not fair. That’s just the way it is. Here’s my theory on why Uranus smells a bucket of rotten duck eggs: Of all the planets in the Milky Way, Uranus suffers from lactose intolerance.


We sometimes wonder where Clint Younts gets his ideas for columns. Probably sitting on the Crows Nest, drinking Lone Star and pondering the stars – and planets – he can see in the night sky. But he needs his glasses to see the stars.

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