In an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the host asked Elon Musk the question we all want to know: are you a super villain or a superhero? Colbert may have gotten his answer when Musk suggested dropping nuclear bombs on the poles of Mars.

Musk, who firmly believes that man should (and will) inhabit the currently uninhabitable red planet made the suggestion as the “quick way” to make it habitable. If that sounds a bit daft, it does have grounds in reality: melting the vast stores of ice at Mars’ poles would raise the temperature, release oxygen and produce liquid water; all things we would need to live on the planet.

This is the “quick and dirty” method, though. It’s long been speculated that the slower, smarter way to do this would be to inject greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, starting a process similar to global warming. While global warming is making Earth less habitable (as Earth already supports life), it will do the opposite on Mars.

The most obvious problem with this plan is the nuclear fallout: while humans do love breathable air and drinkable water, we’re not too comfortable with being irradiated. Many people have also suggested that building nuclear reactors near the poles could accomplish the same feat, while at the same time producing electricity.

This also may not be a genuine suggestion by Musk; shows featuring satirist and comedian Stephen Colbert usually tend towards the side of silliness.

Speaking of Colbert, he also mentions Tesla electric cars, and the fact that he owns (and loves) one of them. A video showing off the Tesla “Snakebot charger”is also included. If you want to learn more about the strange snake, we covered it earlier.

Our favourite part of the interview snippet is probably the answer to Colbert’s question of “are you a super villian or a super hero?” and “Are you trying to save the world?”. With a shrug Musk simply answers: “I’m just trying to do useful things”.

As an aside, while searching for an image for this story, we came across a site simply called “nukemars.com” that has existed since at least 2012 , so the idea is not at all new.

[Image – Nukemars.com]