Beans grown using 'urine from festival loos' to eat on Mars 'tainted by DRUGS' – leading to tasting ban

DRUG-FILLED urine has prevented scientists from tasting beans grown in an experiment conducted to see how green beans could grow on Mars.

The researchers needed human urine for their sustainability experiment so decided to collect it from festivals.

The research involved turning the urine into a substance known as struvite, a product excellent for boosting the growth of plants.

It actually went fairly to plan and the green beans did grow in the martian like conditions.

Using human waste to grow crops could be very useful for humans hoping to colonise Mars as there is currently a serious lack of resources on the red planet.

Human wee is full of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are all used to help crops grow well.

The research was conducted by Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands and was led by Dr Wieger Wamelink.

The team filled 30 plant pots with artificial lunar soil and 30 with terrestrial soil.

All the pots contained three bean seeds and struvite was added to 50% of the pots in each group.

The first beans arrived late last year.

Dr Wamelink said: "We were certainly thrilled with this result, which was faster than we expected, although it meant I had to work between Christmas and New Years’ Eve.

"Soon enough the lengths of the plants started to vary, showing that the crops planted in potting soil and lunar soil simulant with struvite experienced the strongest growth."

The scientists don't know for sure whether the urine they used actually contained drugs but the known-to-be-high illegal drug content of festival pee has prevented them from doing any taste testing.

Dr Wamelink told The Telegraph: "That was a bit worrying, as you may understand, because the stuff that people take at these festivals, that ends up in the urine.

"This is one of the reasons we can not eat the beans. Struvite is, not yet, allowed as manure for the cultivation of crops.

"Even though we know now that is almost 100% pure and it is safe to use.

"We are waiting for legislation. I would eat it though, but am not allowed and as a scientist I should wait for the official approval."

If struvite were to be accepted as a legal manure for crops, it could change the way festival waste is dealt with for the better.

How long does it take to get to Mars?

It's not that short of a trip…

  • There's an immense distance between Earth and Mars, which means any trip to the red planet will take a very long time
  • It's also made more complicated by the fact that the distance is constantly changing as the two planets rotate around the sun
  • The closest that the Earth and Mars would ever be is a distance of 33.9million miles – that's 9,800 times the distance between London and New York
  • That's really rare though: the more useful distance is the average, which is 140million miles
  • Scientists on Earth have already launched a whole bunch of spacecraft to (or near) Mars, so we have a rough idea of how long it takes with current technology
  • Historically, the trip has taken anywhere from 128 to 333 days – admittedly a huge length of time for humans to be on board a cramped spacecraft.

In other space news, hundreds of earthquakes on Mars have been detected.

Nasa thinks alien life might be hiding underground in ancient caves on Mars.

And, a martian moon mining mission millions of miles from Earth has been given the go-ahead.

What do you think of this Mars bean experiment? Let us know in the comments…

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