Unsolved Internet Mysteries of internet. The internet is big, really big, so big that if you tried to count every webpage you’d probably run out of numbers, or patience. The internet is also weird, but every once in a while someone finds something on the internet that just seems a bit too weird, something so creepy and unexplainable it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Here’s some of the most bizarre unsolved mysteries of the internet.
A858 is the name of a mysterious sub reddit. Since 2011 the unknown owner of the sub reddit has been posting thousands of long coded text messages to the sub reddit almost every day. These strange messages intrigued the Reddit community so much that a separate sub reddit was setup called Solving_A858, for the sole purpose of attempting to decode the cryptic messages.
The messages appear to written entirely in hexadecimal, which is a numerical notation system used in computer programs. Thousands of people have employed a range of advanced code breaking techniques in an attempt to crack the codes but the messages and the person behind them, still remain a mystery.
Cicada 3301 is arguably the most mysterious of all internet mysteries. It all started on January 5th 2012, when an anonymous 4chan user posted this peculiar black and white image on the random board, it reads:
“Hello. We are looking for highly intelligent individuals. To find them, we have devised a test. There is a message hidden in this image. Find it, and it will lead you on the road to finding us. We look forward to meeting the few that will make it all the way through. Good luck. 3301”
Naturally this sent the internet crazy trying to find the hidden message within image. Until Joel Eriksson, a 34-year-old computer analyst from Sweden, found the message. He knew it was an example of digital steganography. A way of hiding encoded messages within the pixels of an image. Eriksson decoded the hidden message, what he found was a reference to “Tiberius Claudius Caesar” and a string of meaningless letters.
Eriksson worked out it was a cipher system used by Julius Ceasar in private correspondence. From that he found a new web address which contained another clue and so the trail continued. Each clue got increasingly complex and more difficult to solve. Nobody is sure if anyone has solved all the puzzles and got to the end of the rabbit hole. However a month after the first puzzle was posted, a new message was posted to the 4chan message board that read “We have now found the individuals we sought. Thus our month-long journey ends.”
Nobody knows who is behind this internet treasure hunt and what happens to the winners. Some theorise that Cicada 3301 is a recruitment method for a global spy organisation such as MI6 or the CIA, that are seeking code breakers with brilliant minds. Others say the Cicada 3301 group is comprised of military officers, diplomats and world class academics whom are unhappy with the current state of the world and are seeking out only the most intelligent minds from across the globe to become part of some new world order. Yet to this day Cicada 3301 remains one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the internet.
What’s even creepier about Cicada 3301 is that this isn’t just some guy in his parent’s basement playing a gargantuan practical joke on the internet. Because the puzzles led the participants offline as well, requiring people to find posters at specified coordinates all over the globe, including Russia, Japan, France, South Korea, Poland and the USA. Which must mean that the Cicada 3301 group is a large, well-funded, global organisation.
Each year since Cicada 3301 has posted a new puzzle on the 5th January and a new game begins. But nobody ever hears from the winners after they reach the end of the endless maze of mind bending puzzles, we can only assume that whatever they are up to, they have been sworn to secrecy.
The deep web. The websites you visit every day such as Facebook and Google are only a very small tip of the gigantic iceberg that is the internet. However 80% of the entire internet is not indexed by any search engine and can only be accessed by using special applications such as TOR. This section of the internet is called the deep web and it’s mostly stuff you don’t want to see. Such as online illicit drug marketplaces, stolen credit card numbers, human trafficking, weapons and even hit men for hire as well as a bunch of other shady stuff. Nobody knows exactly what’s contained within the deep web because the majority of it isn’t listed in any index or search engine, however it’s said that you can buy literally anything on the deep web. And absolutely any illegal and nefarious thing you can imagine, you can guarantee will be happening somewhere within the deep web.
If you think the deep web sounds mysterious, you can go even deeper. There’s a hidden level of the internet below the deep web, so deep that nobody has ever been able to access it, at least that we know of. It’s called Mariana’s Web, named after the deepest ocean trench on Earth.
Mariana’s Web is rumoured to contain a repository of all of humanity’s best-kept secrets, including the location of Atlantis. It is basically the internet version of the Vatican secret archives. Some even say that Mariana’s Web is the home of a super intelligent computer artificial intelligence that has become sentient and overlooks and also controls the entire internet like some omnipotent internet mother nature.
It is said that to access Mariana’s Web one must use Polymeric Falcighol Derivation which is a high level maths function that requires quantum computers to work, and quantum computers do not yet exist. However this level of the web is only rumoured to exist and is most likely just an internet hoax.
Webdriver Torso is the name of an uncanny YouTube channel. Starting in September 2013, almost every single minute since, 24 hours a day a new 11 second video has been uploaded to the channel. However, unlike most YouTube videos, in Webdriver Torso’s videos there’s not a single cat to be seen. Every single video is a series of random blue and red shapes accompanied by beeping sounds.
Some big companies such as the BBC have taken an interest in this conundrum and put code breakers to work to attempt to figure out what the Webdriver Torso YouTube channel is all about. Some people think it’s a modern version of a “numbers station” which were cryptic radio signals used during the Cold War to send messages to spies. But other think these 11 second video clips are communications from aliens.
But I’m afraid to say that this YouTube channel is highly unlikely to be anything malicious. In June 2014 it was discovered to be a nothing more than a test account maintained by Google themselves, after Engadget emailed Google about the channel and they replied with this:
“We’re never gonna give you uploading that’s slow or loses video quality, and we’re never gonna let you down by playing YouTube in poor video quality. That’s why we’re always running tests like Webdriver Torso.”
However some skeptics still believe this is just a cover up by Google and that Webdriver Torso may still have some alternative motive.