Woman Asked for a Mariah Carey Birthday Cake, Got Marie Curie Instead

“All I want for Christmas is u(ranium).”
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Left photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images; right photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

Marie Curie was a Warsaw-born physicist who is perhaps best known for co-discovering two radioactive elements, polonium and radium. Mariah Carey is an All-American singer-songwriter whose Billboard-topping bangers have literally soundtracked your entire life. Curie was the first person—and so far, the only woman—to win the Nobel Prize in two different fields. Carey has collected 10 American Music Awards, 15 Billboard Music Awards, and five Grammys (and in a rare anti-flex, she dismissed those wins as “cute.”) The Nobel Foundation describes the late Curie as “quiet, dignified and unassuming.” In the greatest-ever episode of Cribs, Carey wrapped herself in a towel and took a bath on camera, before casually mentioning that she’d swapped out the fish in her aquarium to be more “nocturnal.”


It seems like it would be impossible to mistake Curie for Carey—or vice-versa—but a group of well-meaning Brits somehow did that very thing. “My cousin in England told her colleagues she wanted a Mariah Carey birthday cake,” novelist Harriet Alida Lye tweeted. “They misunderstood, and is the cake they made her instead. It’s Marie Curie, looking very festive.”

She’s right: above an all-caps HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIOBHAN is a black and white photo of Curie, who probably isn’t judging us for choosing a communications major instead of anything even remotely scientific. “Checking the replies to make sure no one beat me to the ‘she looks radiant!’ reply,” one guy responded. “All I want for Christmas is u(ranium),” another wrote. (Our fave replies were the ones that delivered the “yellow cake” jokes).

A day after her mentions went bonkers, Lye’s tweet got Carey’s attention too. “This could've been me if only I hadn't failed remedial math,” she wrote. “Happy birthday Siobhan!!” (Carey’s nickname in high school was reportedly ‘Mirage’ because she skipped class so often. Hello, yes, I am the Marie Curie of Mariah Carey facts.)

So Siobhan got a shoutout from Mimi herself and—AND!—she had cake at work. If the Nobel Foundation handed out awards for birthdays, this one would be a legit contender.