Who doesn’t love an internet urban legend?
I mean, weird stuff appears on the internet all the time.
A weird live stream of a street without any context? Check. Creepy mask people doing creepy stuff? Check. (trust me you don’t want to go there… but if you must, look up the Plague Doctor video, I Feel Fantastic or Jeff the Killer) There is a Wikipedia page titled “Wikipedia: Deleted articles with freaky titles” (click here to read it) But this is more about the mysterious than the creepy.
Markovian Parallax Denigrate This one is considered the oldest mystery on the internet. It’s been a mystery for over 20 years, even before the internet was a thing. This one concerns the predecessor of the Internet, Usenet. Back in 1996, Usenet was flooded with random posts which made no sense whatsoever –
jitterbugging McKinley Abe break Newtonian inferring caw update Cohen air collaborate rue sportswriting rococo invocate tousle shadflower Debby Stirling pathogenesis escritoire adventitious novo ITT most chairperson Dwight Hertzog different pinpoint dunk McKinley pendant firelight Uranus episodic medicine ditty craggy flogging variac
As I said, didn’t make sense. Each post was titled ‘Markovian Parallax Denigrate’. Leave alone the post, even the title doesn’t make sense! (although, I did come across someone of reddit saying that it may have something to do with the DC universe). Since then, a name has come up in relation to this. One, Susan Lindauer, who was apprehended in 2004 for being related to Saddam Hussain. She, of course, denied being the creator of Markovian Parallax. (Click here to read a daily dot report on the Markovian Parallax Denigrate)
Internet Black Holes Ever had one of those emails which you sent but was never received? Just like sometimes regular mail gets lost in the post, apparently there is a place for emails to get lost too. Internet Black Holes, a place where data gets sucked up. Internet is a place known for never forgetting any kind of data, but these black holes kind of just drop data out of existence. There apparently was one found in Iceland a couple of years ago. (Click here to read a Report on the Icelandic Internet Black Hole)
Satoshi Nakamoto If you are even remotely not living under a rock, you might have heard the term ‘Bitcoin’. These crypto-currencies gained a lot of fame and weight over the last few years, at the time I was writing this article a bitcoin accounted for 5,04,521 rupees. Satoshi Nakamoto is the ‘unknown’ developer of bitcoin. A lot of big money names have been thrown around as to who this person might be. Japanese? Japanese descent? Who knows?
John Titor Okay, so this one is a personal favourite. I came across this one a few years ago while looking up time travellers (seriously, hang on). So back in 2001, this guy appears on some online bulletin boards (something like Reddit), claiming to be a time traveller from the year 2036. He was sent to retrieve an IBM 5001 from the year 1975. He made predictions. He predicted that the USA would be engulfed in a civil war in 2004 and would be broken into five separate regions. The civil war would end in 2015, which would launch a nuclear war half destroying the world. He also said that CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) would discover time travel in the year 2001. And predictably, his predictions did not come true. He did invoke the multiverse theory though, which meant that his timeline defers from ours and thus, his predictions may not come true because, physics. Since then his entire story has been deemed a hoax. (PS – If you are interested in this go watch Steins; Gate)
Cicada 3301 I saved the best one for the end. This was, is, a treasure hunt. Where the treasure is you get recruited into a secret society of high cryptologists and decipherers. In 2012, this message appeared on several boards across the internet –
As the message said, this mysterious organization was looking for highly intelligent people. As one would expect, the internet exploded. People started chasing after the puzzle like maniacs. Decryptions and decryptions, it led to a book, it actually led to physical locations in the real world where people found a barcode, the barcode led to a site which only admitted a limited number of ‘firstcomers’. But that was not quite it. Cicada 3301 returned in 2013. The chase was similar if not more difficult and cryptic, pictures leading to more puzzles, leading to a book of ancient runes called Liber Primus (the use of which was not made quite clear), leading to physical location, barcodes, firstcomers. Bye- bye. Cicada 3301 returned for a final time in 2014. Similar pattern, except this time, the puzzles were more difficult. The book, Liber Primus, came into effect this year. Solvers were led to a series of pages which were written in runes. As of today, most of those pages still remain uncyphered. Nothing was heard for two years from Cicada 3301, but then in 2016 –
Hello. The path lies empty; epiphany seeks the devoted. Liber Primus is the way. Its words are the map, their meaning is the road, and their numbers are the direction. Seek and you will be found.
Good luck. 3301
Turns out, the hunt is ongoing. There are bulk of internet communities and resources devoted to decrypting those pages. Have a go at them! (Click here for a YouTube link to Cicada 3301’s entire story)