Is Lil Uzi Vert Really Going to Own a Planet?

Lil Uzi Vert says he’s securing ownership of a planet called WASP-127b. We took a deep dive into the world of planetary leasing to find out what’s happening.

Lil Uzi Vert
Complex Original

Complex Original

Lil Uzi Vert

After getting an expensive pink diamond implanted in his forehead, Lil Uzi Vert has his sights set on his next absurd purchase. 

This past Thursday, Uzi revealed that he was in the process of securing the ownership of WASP-127b, a giant planet almost twice the mass of Jupiter. The revelation came shortly after singer Grimes alerted fans to the transaction on Twitter, writing, “Apparently Uzi owns this planet. Heads up.” She later clarified that the paperwork on the planet ownership was not finalized just yet. “Documentation almost complete for @LilUziVert to legally claim WASP-127b – this is huge! First human to legally own a planet,” she wrote

Apparently @LILUZIVERT owns this planet - just a heads up

— 𝔊𝔯𝔦𝔪𝔢𝔰 (@Grimezsz) July 22, 2021

Throughout his career, Lil Uzi Vert has been infatuated with outer space and alien life. The trailer for his album Eternal Atake depicts the rapper being abducted by a UFO and chilling with his new alien friends in another galaxy. And he’s dedicated a lot of his music to drawing parallels between aliens and himself. Of course, Uzi’s extraterrestrial obsession is not what’s in question here. He has a history of exaggerating his purchases (it still hasn’t been confirmed if that pink diamond actually cost him $24 million). And there are a lot of things to unpack here. Who is he buying the planet from? How much will this purchase set him back? What is the legal procedure for buying a planet? And that’s only scratching the surface. 

With all this in the back of our minds, we took a deep dive into the world of planetary leasing to find out just how plausible this story is. 

Before we get into the legal process of actually purchasing a planet, let’s explore exactly what Uzi is trying to own. WASP-127b is what you’d call an exoplanet, which is basically just a planet located beyond our solar system, according to NASA. Exoplanets tend to orbit other stars, but some are also free-floating or orbit another galactic center. WASP-127b itself was discovered in 2016. It’s a gas giant exoplanet that orbits a G-type star (also known as a main sequence or yellow star) and takes 4.2 days to complete one orbit of its star. No human has set foot on WASP-127b, but according to NASA’s impression of the planet, it is a mix of orange and yellow colors. There. Now you know everything you’d ever possibly need to know about this random planet. 

here's the real photo of the planet

— ruby (@videoveins) July 22, 2021

My first thought was to look for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). If anyone were to know about the discovery of exoplanets, it would have to be NASA, right? Well, according to the administration, NASA is responsible for the discovery of exoplanets, but it confirms to have no involvement in the selling or naming of exoplanets. “Under international law, governments are not capable of granting, recognizing, or enforcing ownership interests in celestial bodies. Even the naming of such objects falls outside of NASA’s purview and is the responsibility of the International Astronomical Union,” NASA asserts.

After a little digging into NASA’s potential involvement, I was redirected to the International Astronomical Union (IAU), an organization that was founded in 1919 and comprised of national astronomers and educators whose sole focus is to standardize and safeguard the names of celestial objects—which includes constellations, asteroids, planetary satellites, small bodies, moons, planets, and yes, exoplanets. All names are approved by the IAU and are solely given in order to discuss these objects on a scientific basis. So, yes, it would be cool to name each object after your favorite pet or childhood best friend, but these names are usually based on precise and scientific coordinates so that they can be properly catalogued. And while the IAU is legally responsible for naming celestial objects, they do not sell names or planets. 

After reaching a dead end with the IAU, it was time to take a step back and figure out if there are any laws written about buying planets. And to no surprise, there is in fact a law that specifically addresses the purchase of planets. According to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which was signed by the United States, United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union on January 27, 1967, no nation or citizen “may claim sovereignty of outer space or any celestial body.” 

The short answer is that Lil Uzi Vert cannot buy or own WASP-127b. But, of course, there is always some clever guy somewhere who will try to find a way around the law. More importantly, though, there is always someone even more clever out there willing to take your money. Apparently leasing planets is a lucrative business. Online sellers such as Lunar Embassy and are offering plots of land (and even whole planets) for the right price. The price to own land on any planet or moon usually runs for somewhere between $24 to $500. Since there seems to be no law allowing the purchase of WASP-127b, it’s impossible to estimate how much the exoplanet would cost. But taking into consideration Uzi’s past spending history, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he dropped a couple racks. 

After the purchase of WASP-127b or any planet for that matter, Uzi won’t get to visit his new property. Instead, he’ll just get a deed written on an expensive piece of paper that states his ownership, along with the coordinates and other details. And then, of course, there’s the temporary feeling of pride at beating Soulja Boy to become the first rapper to own a planet.

Nothing. The planet will happily exist outside of our solar system untouched. But since there is no way to preserve Uzi’s rights to this planet, people can choose to ignore his purchase and it can be sold again to other buyers. Now, Uzi could be smart and tells folks that he registered his planet with the National Library. According to the IAU, anyone can send documents to the National Library, but that doesn’t mean the Library will approve the contents of the document or check that companies don’t sell the same planet to different people.

After a tireless day of research, I’ve concluded there is absolutely no point. Lil Uzi Vert might think he’s in the process of buying WASP-127b, but according to space law, he has no legal claim to the planet. So, think of it like an NFT. When you really think about it, it makes no sense, but maybe it’s just cool to say you have your own planet anyway?

Latest in Music