A US Congressman issued a head-scratching question to NASA in a hearing with the US House Committee on the future of Science, Space and Technology. The bizarre question was focused on whether aliens existed on Mars thousands of years ago. As you might imagine, the internet was in a frenzy with many wondering, “Was he for real?”

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California Republican Dana Rohrabacher interrupted the hearing as he asked Ken Farley, the project scientist for NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission, if there was an ancient alien civilization on Mars “thousands of years ago?”

He interjected before Farley could answer by adding, “would you rule that out?” The left field question led to a moment of silence from those in the room. Farley, who was visibly taken aback by the question, simply replied that it was “extremely unlikely.”

Rohrabacher, who wasn’t taking “unlikely” as an answer, continued, “You have indicated that Mars had a, was totally different thousands of years ago.” To which Farley replied, “The evidence is that Mars was different billions of years ago, not thousands of years ago.”

Commenters on the internet had an absolute field day with the bizarre exchange that has since gone viral.

One Twitter user, mocked the Congressman by stating: “Is the moon really cheese? #StupidQuestionsForAstronauts”

Popular Twitter account Earth Sky Science, which has over 800,000 followers, was truly baffled by the question after asking, “Was he for real?”

Another science advocate, Brian Kahn, a senior climate writer, took to Twitter to make light of the exchange. “That moment when you’re not sure if the ancient Martian civilization question is a joke or if your agency’s funding depends on your answer,” he wrote.

Some internet users came to the defense of the Congressman. One Reddit user wrote: “Normal people have no idea or even think about any civilization outside of Earth and they don’t get to ask questions like this, so this man just cleared that up for the world.”

Recently, Mars came into the media spotlight after a guest appeared on Alex Jones’ InfoWars and claimed NASA was sending children to become slaves of a secret colony. Obviously, NASA refuted the guest’s statement from that show.

Rohrabacher may just be an avid watcher of History Channel’s Ancient Aliens. But the Congressman should probably realize that if you do or say something stupid, the internet commenters are going to call you on it.

Check out the full video below.