How to terraform Mars

Yesterday I mentioned weeding, and how my son thought it would take a decade to finish the job.

Kiddo#1 (and Kiddo#4) are currently enamored with outer space, and so I’ve been paying attention to things like Mars and Jupiter a lot more than I would under ordinary circumstances.

Here’s my brilliant thought, come to me as I weeded my garden:

Let’s have a botanist splice together the genes of purple lustrife, crab grass, and bamboo. It should put out runners that go maybe a mile in any direction, at least six inches below the surface of the ground, and lie flat so a lawn mower can’t cut it, plus have seed heads that while pretty from a distance are massively ugly up-close.

This frankenplant will have to be created in a stainless-steel laboratory, and once the experiment is completed, the lab and everything inside it will need to be burned. Twice.

All the hybrid seeds should be loaded into a rocket and sent to Mars, where the rocket will explode on contact with Mars’s atmosphere and disperse the seeds all over the place.

In twenty years, we can check back again, and one of two things will have happened. Either:

1) Mars will have been terraformed


2) We will have proof that life exists on Mars, because they will have invented Round-Up.

And these are my brilliant thoughts while weeding in the sun.


  1. LydiaK

    Ha ha, and then Mars will be so overrun with said SuperWeed that no one will want to inhabit it!

    1. philangelus

      Nah, you’ve seen what people dump in their lawns to grow grass. People will want to live there too.

  2. cricketB

    Wild violet, bugleweed and snow-on-the-mountain .

  3. Scott

    Well if it overruns the planet, it’ll consume the CO2 and generate the oxygen we need to survive when we get there. (Assuming we’ll ever have the money to build the spaceship.)

    Make it taste good and we’ll have food.

    Build shelter with the bamboo.

    Pray that there is water there already.

    It’s a brilliant idea.

    1. philangelus

      You can build a LOT with bamboo. I’ve seen Gilligan’s Island.

  4. Mary Nicewarner

    I wouldn’t want to live in your head, Jane.

    1. philangelus

      Might be interesting trying to figure out how to make the interior of my head suitable for human life….