The state-run Fars new agency in Iran published a bold news article this week, reporting that an Iranian scientist invented a time machine. Then, the Fars new agency performed another magic trick: it made the article disappear.
But not before the story got mentioned by Fox, the Telegraph and Wired. The Daily Telegraph translated the story, reporting that Ali Razeghi, a Tehran scientist, had registered "The Aryayek Time Traveling Machine" with the state-run Centre for Strategic Inventions. Well, that's at least a good first step in creating a time machine, right?
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"It will not take you into the future, it will bring the future to you," he told Fars.
Wired magazine also picked up the story, with a healthy dose of mockery and sarcasm: "Iran’s technological prowess has reached an all-time high. First it claims to have solved the metaphysical conundrums associated with time travel. Next up: an Islamic version of Google Earth, one free of the pernicious influence of the US, England and the Zionists.”
Then something funny happened: the Washington Post noticed that the original story was no longer on the Fars site. Attempts to click on the link now simply lead to an error page. Yet the Post notes that the story had already blown up on social media at that point. Perhaps Fars should first learn how the internet machine works before reporting on time machines.