If you a younger Gen X or older Millennial, then you’ve been on the internet as long as anyone else. I mean, sure, Boomers were technically online in the late 90s and early aughts as well, but they didn’t embrace the entire culture the way younger people did.
If you count yourself as one of the first people poking around on the WWW, here are 17 mysteries you may have forgotten went unsolved.
17. A slight divergence.
A slight divergence: I worked for a video game company in the mid-90s. At one point, we were trying to decide what our next game would be.
I suggested we do something like a graphical Mud, for which we’d charge a subscription fee. The CEO looked at me and said, I swear to god, “Who would pay to play an online game?”
16. Definitely a ghost.
I was in a Yahoo Chat RPG room in like 00-01 with my best friend across the street.
Neither of us had a webcam at the time and we were both on dial up.
We never let on to the others in the room that we were friends IRL and would argue with each other about stupid stuff we wanted to do.
Well some random person pulled my buddy and I into a private chat and sent a pic of my buddies bedroom to us and typed out both of our full names. We freaked out case it was a blurry shot from overhead and there was legit no way for that to have been just taken.
We freaked out, both logged off and he unplugged his desktop from the phone line to make sure it had zero internet. Scared us for a while, we searched his room for a hidden camera tons of times and never found anything.
We think it was his older brother or one of his friends messing with us but he still denies it all these years later and both of our parents were not tech smart back then so still a huge mystery to us!
15. Don’t ask.
Whatever happened to Jeeves?
14. People will find you.
In the early days my friend and I were in an IRC chat room pretending to be a lesbian. We led this person on for quite some time. The person asked for our home number to chat, we gave the person a number to a local adult bookstore.
We got bored and hung up the dial-up connection and the phone rings. It was some woman yelling and bitching about us giving her a dupe number!
Scared the s*%t out of us. I have no idea how she found us, this was around ’93.
13. Not so hilarious.
Why did no one accept the truth of the four-sided time cube?
I watched a YouTube video about that guy recently and was finding it HILARIOUS until it was suggested that he had untreated schizophrenia.
12. The answer is…maybe.
Did that guy ever get all those glass shards out?
One interview he did, he said no there was still some up there.
11. Everyone wanted to know.
ASL? Met so many asking did anyone ever find out the answer
10. The author of a masterpiece…
the author of My Immortal. a few people have “come forward”, but were later revealed to be lying. the true author of that masterpiece, as well as whether or not it was intentionally satire, is still unknown…
anyone remember the fiasco of that one person who almost got away with claiming they were the author? spun this whole story they were a POC (i believe they claimed to be native american?) in abusive foster care and wrote it as a joke, got HUGE publicity for their current work for it.
and tbh they would have gotten away with it if they hadn’t faked their race lmao. bunch of people came forward who knew them irl and were like “uhhh so they’re… white? and grew up in upper middle class suburbia?” lmao the drama i loved it.
9. It replaced everything else.
The biggest mystery is how social media replaced…everything. The early internet was like 30% web and 70% wild west text-based bullshit. MUDs and MOOs, BBS gateways, USENET, IRC, like eighteen million messengers and ways to play with your friends online, free web hosts everywhere since most people did their blogs by writing the actual damn HTML by hand. Digital cameras were rare, expensive, and of absolute shit quality. You didn’t know what anyone looked like, you didn’t know anyone’s real name. It was awesome.
By the early 00s it was like 90% web, but even then we had different places for different folks. The emos and goths stuck to live journal. The artsy weirdos lived on deviant art. There were a handful of up and coming sites where you could post photos you took as digital cameras started being not complete shit. There were forums for fucking everything and they were lit as fuck. RIP something awful. Even online shopping was diverse, the big man on campus was eBay, but there were literally dozens of classified websites where you could sell shit. Somehow craigslist still exists from that era and hasn’t visibly changed at all.
Then there was Friendster. Then MySpace. Then Facebook. AOL died. Geocities died. Livejournal still lives but it’s a shadow of its former self. Tumblr tried to live but couldn’t survive without porn. The other sites exist on the fringes of the internet but no one goes there anymore. The internet is one giant ghost town with an urban core of like six megatowers where everyone is.
The mystery is how all the online anarchists who swore the internet was for everyone let this happen. Also how the internet still works but I know way too much about BGP and DNS to be convinced it actually does.
8. That account is never coming back.
The mystery of my original neopets account password. I still miss my glowing Lupe named “madscientist” with a bunch of random numbers at the end, of course.
EDIT: I gained access to my dads ancient work email. Bad news: I had 3 accounts, they’re all frozen. I’ve opened a ticket with the neopets team, which wont work if its anything like it used to be lmao mods gay
7. Not enough clues.
The location of the golden owl (la chouette d’or in french).
This is a game where a man gave clues to be solved that are supposed to give you the location of a replica of the golden owl.
6. We would all like to know.
Whatever happened to Bloodninja after he put on his robe and wizard hat?
I miss bash.org.
Bloodninja was the username of a member of a message board back in the early 2000s called V6power.net (message board for Ford Mustangs). He copied the chat logs from some other source(s) he found and put his username in place of real troll(s).
He first posted the logs on the V6power MB. They spread mostly to other car forums and then went viral.
How do I know? Because I saw it all happen as I was an active user on the same message board since 1999. He admitted to us after they went viral that he copied them. I have seen others claim to be Bloodninja with background stories. More fakes.
I don’t know if the original Bloodninja post is still there, but here is a thread talking about it.
5. One for the ages.
Why did that banana want so much peanut butter?
And why was there a baseball bat?
4. A short list.
so many questions…
How is ebaumsworld still online?
Will Newgrounds ever recover its popularity as a pre-youtube video host?
With the creator being older, wiser, and more net-savvy than ever, will The Thin H Line ever be resurrected and updated?
Will the Escape Velocity franchise finally get a multiplayer release?
Why can’t I remember my MySpace password?
3. What happened to Tilly?
Whatever happened to the girl from Tilly’s Diary? “Tilly Jacobson” was a teen girl from the LA area with an online diary on bolt.com, who wrote about school, her family, and the guy next door that she was secretly dating.
She suddenly stopped posting one day, and the only thing I could find was a forum thread that suggested it might have been fake all along.
Every so often I still try and look her up but have had no luck. It’s been 20 years and I still think about her regularly.
2. And thank goodness for that.
Not so fun fact: That’s an outlier. There’s this thing called link rot going around… Go to an older forum, try following the links on old posts, and disturbingly often you’ll get nothing.
The internet is far less permanent than we always claimed. Some of it is being actively archived, but a huge portion just up and vanishes as hosts stop hosting, delete old records, retool their services…
Do you have any idea how many sites used to have their own dedicated forums? They don’t anymore.
The old internet is constantly decaying. Old information is being lost.
1. Just say no.
Who started all those stupid chain mails and why are they still doing this shit?
apparently the evil clown under my bed and the dead ghost girl under my bed must have run off to get married together and start their own family because im still alive.
I definitely was unaware of a lot, y’all! But that’s teenagers for you.
What other old internet mysteries are you still hoping might be solved one day? Let us know in the comments!