BOSTON, USA — Americans were astounded this week to discover NASA images revealed the existence of intelligent life beyond the US borders of the known world.
The space agency released images on Monday which showed several enormous land masses beyond the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The continents were initially thought to be "lens glare," said Hank Washington, an analyst at the University of Massachusetts' Centre for Extra-American Studies who examined the images, but a closer inspection proved otherwise. An investigation followed.
"We were aware of Canada and Mexico, of course," said Washington, "because of NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement] establishing them in 1994."
"But we were amazed to uncover other satellite nations, with not only entire populations but their own versions of government, language, and American Idol."
A subsequent investigation found intriguing details of these non-American countries.
"One place doesn't use dollars, but an exotic currency called 'Thai Baht'," Washington laughed. "But we haven't been able to verify that. It does sound like it might be a joke. The same source said this society didn't even use a president, but instead had something called a Prime Monster."
Previous reporting from major media outlets had only hinted at the existence of alien societies, with newspapers such as USA Today devoting a mere half page to the subject in a minor section glibly called "World."
Many Americans regard such stories as conspiracies and hoaxes.
"I remember the Weekly World News headlines," said Joan Feldman, a New York barista and "citizen of the United Nations capital."
"There were stories about Bigfoot and invading space ships and all sorts of stupid crap," she said. "I think the media expects us to believe anything. Like, once they said this giant tidal wave wiped out a quarter of a million people the day after Christmas. Well, I never saw that, and all the stores were still open for the Boxing Day sales."
The locations of two previously known countries, France and Italy, were finally pinned down in one of the newly-discovered continents, called Europe.
Another continent, Africa, dwarfed Europe in size, but there was nothing of American interest there.