In space, no one can hear you scream from the smell of a durian

Illustration for article titled In space, no one can hear you scream from the smell of a durian
Photo: Banar Fil Ardhi (EyeEm/Getty Images)

Durian is a fruit that smells so pungent once it starts to go bad, it recently cleared an entire campus library. Takeout editor Kevin Pang assures us that the durian is in fact delicious, so well worth taking the risk of eventual bad smells by eating it.


Maybe that’s why a space research outfit in Thailand has decided to send the durian out in space to see if it would make viable food for astronauts. Time reports, “Baked durians have already been packaged and are ready for lift off,” according to Ammarin Pimnoo of the Geo-Informatics And Space Technology Development Agency. Since Thailand’s space program is somewhat lacking, a U.S. rocket will help launch the fruit into space. It will only stay there five minutes until it returns to Earth and is examined for “textural changes.”

If the durian makes it, researchers will then move on to other Thai food, like “pad Thai or mango sticky rice,” according to an agency spokesperson. We have to believe that either of those selections would be much more welcome to the astronauts. Because once they finish eating the durian, where are they supposed to dispose of it in space, then trapping them in a capsule with those dreaded noxious fumes?

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.


returning the screw

Love this stuff. There’s actually a few different kinds too. Some creamier than others in texture. But it sure does smell. Hated that I could never bring it in taxis or on subways in Bangkok to get home though. But that’s what motorbike taxis were for.

I was in Indonesia once though and smelled it way down at my bungalow and assumed my neighbor had cracked one open. Nope. The people on the balcony of a condo up two ledges up the mountain from me had and I still smelled it. I like the smell though.