The internet is a wild and wonderful place. We have the whole world right at our fingertips, for better or worse.
Some of us choose to use this power for good. And some choose to use this power to create chaos. There are so many hoaxes, viral videos, and bizarre jokes floating around the internet that it’s hard not to get clowned every once in a while!
Let’s talk about five of the most memorable times we all got fooled, at least a little bit.
1. The Dress
If you don’t remember the ongoing saga of the “black-and-blue no wait white-and-gold” dress, you missed out on one of the biggest internet clowns in recent memory. In fact, this insane debate actually has its own Wikipedia page, even though it happened back in 2015.
Personally, I was always #TeamWhiteAndGold based on the picture that I saw, but as it turns out, the true colors of the dress were black and blue. The dress photo started as a small debate and ended up shaking the entire internet to its core within a week. It even led to neuroscientists trying to explain the phenomenon!
2. The Shoe
You would think that we would have learned from The Dress, but nope! Just two years later, the internet once again blew up with another color debate that left us questioning our sanity (and all of our friends’ sanity too).
Again, scientists can’t point to a definite reason why some people see grey and teal and some people see pink and white. Some said that it’s contextual, e.g., the lighting of your room, the color settings on your phone, etc. Others chalked it up to the fact that we all see colors a little differently. But ultimately, nobody could give us a satisfying reason for this wild discrepancy in color perception. I saw a few tweets floating around that tried to attribute it to being left-brain or right-brain dominant, but that’s its own separate kind of clowning (don’t believe everything you read on Twitter, guys).
Also, the shoe is absolutely pink and white.
3. Do Elephants Really Think We’re Adorable?
I’m pretty sure that I’m guilty of sharing this meme because it’s just so cute and wholesome. After all, who wouldn’t want to be told that elephants view us the way that we view puppies? I love puppies. They make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
As it turns out, there isn’t any actual evidence to support this. I am crushed.
The whole thing started with a 2017 tweet by college student Julia Hass, and the internet has never been the same since. While the claim is ultimately not currently backed up by science, don’t despair just yet! Even though we may or may not be as cute as puppies to elephants, science HAS determined that elephants can discern things like ethnicity, gender, and age just by listening to our voices. Pretty cool, right?
4. The Potato Salad Kickstarter
Guys, there is some wild stuff on Kickstarter. People will try to fund the strangest things. In the case of Zack “Danger” Brown, his joke Kickstarter ended up accidentally gaining a life of its own.
Zack decided that he wanted to make some potato salad, and as a joke, he started a Kickstarter campaign for the $10 he needed for ingredients. The entire thing was just supposed to be a funny, one-off thing that got some laughs from friends, but it went viral and he actually raised over $55,000!
Thankfully, he didn’t use all of that cash to break the world record for the most potato salad ever made (yikes). Instead, he threw a big charity party called PotatoStock. Naturally, there was plenty of potato salad, but he also raised money for nonprofits that fight hunger in his home state.
Did we get clowned by the internet? Maybe a little. But we also got a great story.
5. Blue Strawberries
I’m just going to get this out of the way up top: Blue strawberries are not a thing. I know there are countless pictures online, and there are even eBay, Etsy, and Amazon listings for blue strawberry seeds that you can purchase.
I know that some of these pictures look convincing, and there’s even a scientifically plausible backstory behind them! The story involves splicing the genes from an Arctic flounder with normal strawberries to give the strawberries anti-freeze properties. While it’s true that scientists did attempt this experiment, there’s no evidence that the fruit turned up blue, or even that it worked particularly well.
So, if you want blue strawberries, you should either learn some Photoshop skills or get some food coloring.
When Did the Internet Clown You Last?
We’ve all been fooled by the internet at least once. It’s usually harmless fun, and we all laugh about it later. So tell me the truth: When was the last time you got clowned by the internet?