Elon Musk Shares Cryptic “Petra and Mars” Photos on Instagram

Is he glamping?

Even when sightseeing at ancient landmarks, SpaceX founder and social media maven Elon Musk can’t help but look to the future. In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Musk shared photos of his visit to the Jordanian site Petra along with a picture of some domes that look like a space settlement on the planet Mars.

While it’s possible that Musk fell into a wormhole and landed in on a future Mars already colonized by one of his companies, there’s a much more likely explanation for the cryptic photos: tourism. Musk appears to be visiting the Sun City Camp in the Wadi Rum region, an area that depicts the extraterrestrial landscape in films that include The Martian, The Last Days on Mars, and Red Planet. The Sun City Camp continued this cinematic tradition by establishing a camp of “martian domes” that allow travelers to sleep sheltered from the elements while keeping an eye towards the stars.

Petra and Mars

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

“Combining modern style living and comfort while still living the authentic desert experience, the Sun City camp signature Martian Domes offer the guests the unique experience of combined luxury and authenticity,” Sun City’s website says. Sounds like something pulled straight from a story written by George Saunders.

In other words, Elon Musk is concurrently LARPing and glamping. It’s kitschy and probably nothing at all like living on Mars, where a human couldn’t go outside without wearing a spacesuit.

Sun City Camps
Mars domes probably won't be this luxurious.

Musk has been particularly active on Twitter and Instagram in recent weeks, engaging in a troll-off with satirical news website The Onion and pouring flaming absinthe glasses with childlike glee. He seems to delight in generating discussion over his online personal brand. And it’s definitely working, as evidenced by the fact that you’re reading literal news coverage of Musk’s Instagram post.

Anyone need a social media manager? This guy is more than qualified.

Media via @elonmusk/Instagram, SunCity Camp