Scientists may be one step closer to identifying a candidate for dark matter, the unknown substance that accounts for nearly 85% of the mass of the universe. Professor Boz Dangler, Visiting Professor of Peanuts at CERN, says that inspiration struck him as he was tucking into a salad in the staff canteen.
"I noticed that while the celery, the lettuce, the radishes and the tomatoes were all easily identifiable, a significant portion of the total mass of my lunch appeared to be hidden. It was only when I looked under the cucumber that I noticed the cress. Tasteless and odourless, the cress only reacted weakly with the other ingredients and was therefore almost impossible to detect. It was then that I realised that the universe's missing mass must be cress. Not ordinary cress, of course - that would be silly. Space cress."
The Professor may not have to wait too long for proof of his theory. Next month the European Space Agency will launch OCO, the Orbital Coleslaw Observer, which will train its instruments on the Carina nebula, a vast cloud of expanding balsamic vinegar which has recently been the subject of much speculation as it is thought to contain herbs which do not occur naturally on Earth.