The mystery of 80,000 inscrutable YouTube videos -- which some had speculated might be used to send messages between spies -- has been solved.
And it turns out…
(Ready to be disappointed?)
It was Google all along.
After months of speculation, sparked by the discovery of the seemingly useless 11-second videos posted under the name 'Webdriver Torso', all featuring blue and red rectangles in varying forms, the clips turned out to be part of a quality control test by the search giant (and owner of YouTube).
Engadget discovered the truth last week, with help and input from many different blogs and sleuths, and now Google has issued a statement confirming the fun and games had come to an end.
Following the release of a suspiciously 'meme-y' video which contained digitised dance moves by a silhouette of 'Never Gonna Give You Up' singer Rick Astley, Google said:
"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."
Ah well. The mystery might be gone, but the glory of videos like the immortal tmpnQ6e8U has not. First one to form a covers band and release an album on Bandcamp wins the internet.