History of Internet Memes


Internet Memes started in the mid-late nineties, shortly but not immediately after the internet began in 1995. One of the earliest memes was HamsterDance.com, which can be traced back to circa 1998. HamsterDance.com was a simple website filled with animated GIFs of various hamsters dancing and spinning around in a loop while a looped version of the Hamster Dance Song plays in the background. Through different means, including email and word-of-mouth, many people became aware of this website and was a common internet meme at the time.


The second best-known internet meme is one we are all aware of and sometimes repeat mindlessly in our daily lives: All Your Base Are Belong to Us. This was the first major internet phenomenon as it reached more people overall than Hamster Dance. Following the new millenium, in 2001 this meme appeared on websites such as NewGrounds.com. As many already know, it is a strange meme that replays a scene from Sega Mega Drive video game Zero Wing. The video then plays a Microsoft Sam-like audio to speak out the Broken English translation on the screen. Following the scene, a random montage of photo-edited pictures displaying the text "All Your Base Are Belong to Us" with a heavily remixed song of the previous scene is played for the next 5-10 minutes.


After the huge AYBABTU meme, the decade of the 2000s introduced many more memes and types of memes over time, including but not limited to: videos, images, animated GIFs and spin-offs. Some of these examples include an endless amount of image memes, which can be found anywhere on the internet. Video internet memes that were big hits after AYBABTU include Tunak Tunak, Do A Barrel Roll, Leeroy Jenkins, Leave Britney Alone! and catchy songs + videos like Chocolate Rain, Evolution of Dance and the Numa Numa guy. The year 2012 saw the smash-hit Oppa Gangnam Style become an internet phenomenon on YouTube, with the video itself reaching over 2 billion views. Image memes have multiple sources, and some examples of these include but are not limited to "Anime Rule #", "Strict Dad", "Fluffy the Destroyer" and "Scumbag Stacy". A good place to find these is to go to Google Images and just type "memes"; you will end up with endless results and get the idea of the how the system works. There are many websites, including ours which has internet meme pics. In a way, "Troll Face" is an internet meme image which creates and entire new set of memes in and of itself.


Internet memes have existed since a few years into the establishment of the internet itself which took place in 1995. In 1998-2001, we saw the beginning of these memes with Hamster Dance and All Your Base Are Belong to Us. In the decade following, 2002-2009, many other internet memes came into existence, as well as image memes and websites. In present day, internet memes have integrated into both regular and digital society as a means of mainstream communication on the internet, where in the past before the internet's establishment, such methods did not exist. The internet revolutionized this method.



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