NASA confirmed this week that one of the moons of Saturn, Titan, features at least one lake containing liquid ethane.
Ethane is a simple molecule comprised of carbon and hydrogen and on Earth, it's a gas. But on Titan, it's a liquid, because the temperature there is -200º Celsius, which is just below ethane's boiling point.
It hasn't been that cold here lately, not even in Winnipeg.
Another naturally occurring compound, methane, is present in Titan's atmosphere and the methane reacts with the energy from the Sun to produce a system of evaporation similar to what occurs on Earth, except with different chemicals, in Titan's case.
That's where the liquid ethane on Titan's surface comes from.
Nevertheless, the Associated Press, among others, advises that
Liquid ethane is a component of crude oil.Well no, it isn't, and poor reporting like this seems to have caused some minor havoc on the internets.
Mike Mathias noticed, and directs our attention to the absurdist ramblings of local blogger and radio personality James T. "Hip Musings" Harris, who claims oil was discovered on Titan.
And, he declares therefore, "OIL IS NOT A FOSSEL [sic] FUEL!" because he isn't aware of any dinosaurs on Titan. Seriously.
Methane is also a byproduct of utter bullshit.