The Atlantic

Mercury Is the Inspectah Deck of Planets

Tiny and overlooked, the nearest world to the sun could destroy the entire solar system.
Source: NASA / JHU / APL / CIW

Wu-Tang Clan rapper Method Man once said the following about fellow member Inspectah Deck: “He’s like that dude thatta sit back and watch you play yourself … and see you sit and know you lyin’, and he’ll take you to court after that.”

The same can probably be said of Mercury, the best planet in the solar system (other than Earth).

Mercury puts up with more crap than anyone else, so I stayed quiet while others incorrectly suggested that Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, or Uranus were any better. Few pay any attention to it: Astronomers researching the tiny rock often see their results smothered by the hype surrounding far lamer bodies like Pluto and Europa. And Mercury fans have to put up with shade like this quote from Ross Andersen: “Tiny thing, Sun-blasted and crater-pocked, more moon than planet.” But Mercury’s been the best planet all along. You just haven’t been paying any attention.  

I get it. Mercury looks straight-up ragged. It lacks a real atmosphere, so there’s nothing preventing asteroids from hitting the surface, and the

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min readPsychology
Dear Therapist: My Husband and I Don't Have Sex Anymore
Editor’s Note: Every Monday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. Have a question? Email her at dear.therapist@theatlantic.com. Dear Therapist, My husband and I have been married for three years. It was l
The Atlantic6 min read
In Defense of Big Little Lies’ Second Season
This article contains spoilers through the second season of Big Little Lies. Just to put this out there first: No, the second season of HBO’s Big Little Lies wasn’t as good as the first. The plotting was minimal, leading up to an underwhelming showdo
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
The Stuff of Dystopian Nightmare
Commercial airliners are not usually restful environments, but February 2017 was a particularly fraught time for domestic air passengers. Donald Trump had become president a month earlier and had quickly issued his “travel ban” executive order, spark