Mickey Mouse Celebrates His 88th Birthday on Mercury


He’s still as spry as ever, but Mickey Mouse turned 88 years old on Friday, November 18, and NASA celebrated the American icon’s big day with a picture of Mickey just chillin’ on the surface of Mercury.

In a Facebook post, NASA’s Space Launch System directed visitors’ attention to a cluster of craters on Mercury that looks just like Mickey’s instantly recognizable silhouette, ears and all.

“This scene is to the northwest of the recently named crater Magritte, in Mercury’s south,” NASA explained on its website. The image, which was captured in June of 2012, shows two small craters that sit slightly south of a much larger one. “The shadowing helps define the striking ‘Mickey Mouse’ resemblance, created by the accumulation of craters over Mercury’s long geologic history,” NASA continues.

Mickey Mouse, who made his debut 88 years ago in Disney’s cartoon short Steamboat Willie, is one of the most famous faces on this planet. It only makes sense that he’d be a big deal elsewhere in the solar system as well.

Although … you’d think he’d be on the moon, since it’s made of cheese and all.

Mercury's Mickey Mouse.


Mickey isn’t even the only beloved children’s character to make a cameo on the surface of Mercury. In 2012, just a few months before NASA spotted the Mickey craters, astronomers found another cluster that looked like Cookie Monster.

“The superposition of younger craters on older craters (in this case two smaller craters upon the rim of an older crater) can result in landforms that appear to resemble more familiar shapes to human eyes,” NASA wrote.

Some Cookie Monster craters on Mercury.