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Facts about the internet ON the internet? What will they think of next?! Not the internet, because that's already here. In this episode of the The List Show, Mike Rugnetta breaks down 38 interesting internet facts, from buzz-worthy facts about Buzzfeed to memory meme facts.

A weekly show where knowledge junkies get their fix of trivia-tastic information. This week, Mike shares some little known facts about the internet!

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Hey there, I'm Mike. Welcome to the salon, this is Mental Floss Video. And did you know that the company Yahoo once tried to convince Ray Bradbury to make all of his books available online? Bradbury's response: "To hell with you. To hell with you and to hell with the internet." And that is the first of many fun facts about the internet that I am going to share with you today.


In the 50s and 60s, the internet was already in the process of being invented and perfected. But then, in the 70s, it got the name, the "Internetwork", which is why we now call it the internet.

The first message ever sent through the internet were the letters L and O. It was an attempt to log in from one computer to another host.

Tim Berners-Lee is the man who invented the World Wide Web, which is different from the internet, as you may know from our episode on misconceptions about technology. In 2014, he was asked what reason for internet usage he was the most surprised by, and he answered "kittens".

Although he gets mocked for talking about it, Al Gore really did help with the development of the internet. He wrote the Supercomputer Network Study Act in 1986, which looked into ways to connect universities and research centers via high-capacity fiber optic cables.

In 1985, the first ever domain name was registered. It was, a computer corporation. And the first ever emails were sent by email's inventor, Ray Tomlinson. He doesn't remember what any of the original ones were, though. He calls them, quote, "entirely forgettable". Probably like a chain email or a request to join his network on LinkedIn.

Thanks to the amount of syllables in the letter W, it takes longer to say "WWW" than "World Wide Web", unless, I guess, you say it that way.

The creator of this has claimed that the proper way to pronounce it is "gif" [with a soft g]. Fans of the Idea Channel will know exactly how I feel about that.

The "Fi" in WiFi doesn't stand for anything. Some people think it stands for "wireless fidelity", but according to one of its creators it was originally a pun on "hifi", like stereos. It was only later that they gave it the tagline, "the standard for wireless fidelity".

Speaking of WiFi, in 2014 New York mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he was accepting proposals from designers for ways to convert payphones into WiFi hotspots.

There are a lot of popular websites that you might not know are owned by the same company. Like, InterActiveCorp owns, Vimeo, CollegeHumor,, Tinder, and many more. I'll leave it up to you to decide what it would look like if all of those were run as one website.

In 1993, the New Yorker ran a cartoon featuring two dogs, a computer, and the caption "on the internet, nobody knows you're a dog." It eventually went viral, and the artist has earned over $50,000 for reprints. Our dogs only have access to an Etch A Sketch. Also, is this elephant drunk?

Whereas Rick Astley – poor Rick Astley – has only earned about $12 from the rickrolling YouTube video. "Never Gonna Give You Up" has about 130 million views on YouTube, but Astley gets limited royalties because he didn't actually write the song.

Shea Stadium, where the Mets play, got rickrolled in 2008, after they left it up to fans to vote what song should get played during the 8th inning. Unsurprisingly, it got booed. I guess Mets fans felt let down, ran around, deserted.

In 2003, Canadian high school student Mike Rowe created the website This, of course, turned into a legal dispute with the company Microsoft. Eventually, Mike Rowe settled for Microsoft products, including an Xbox. I think it's fair to say that he came out ahead in that deal.

The internet may seem very common, but only about of 40% of people worldwide use it. Based on population, China has the most internet users, with about 600 million. Iceland has the most based on percentage of population; over 98% of their citizens use the internet.

According to data from the Pew Research Center, 93% of adult internet users in the Philippines use social networking sites. Compare that with the US, which only has about 74% saturation. Also, more women than men use social networking sites in the US, although it's only about a 4% difference.

Speaking of social media, that is where BuzzFeed generates 75% of its traffic. BuzzFeed has only been around since 2006, but it's already posted around 22,500 articles about cats. All of which come as a surprise to Tim Berners-Lee.

71% of American adults who spend time online are on Facebook. Speaking of Facebook, the company conducted a study which altered news feeds and found that people who saw positive posts were more likely to also post positive things, and those who saw negative posts, more likely to post negative things.

And according to a 2010 study, one in five divorces involve Facebook, by helping people cheat or reconnect with old significant others. Facebook, you home-wrecker!

The creators of YouTube all met each other when they worked at PayPal.

There's a Wikipedia article dedicated to deleted Wikipedia articles with freaky titles. Examples include "Diet Coke plus Mentos equals kaboom", "I hate you, Mr. Wikipedia", and "How old are cars?"

In 2001, a jet sold on eBay for $4.9 million, making it the most expensive eBay purchase ever.

In 2011, a 75-year-old woman in Georgia, the country, was sifting through the ground looking for copper when she cut a cable by mistake. This simple act cut off the internet for the entirety of Armenia for five hours.

In addition to those underground, there are a bunch of cables and wires underwater that keep the internet operating. Unfortunately, sharks like to chew on them, which sometimes, of course, causes damage. Wait, does this mean that sharks are a natural predator of the internet?

A 2014 study published by the journal Personality and Individual Differences gave over 1,200 people a survey about their internet behavior. The researchers found that, quote, "the associations between sadism and GAIT (Global Assesssment of Internet Trolling) scores were so strong that it might be said that online trolls are prototypical everyday sadists." You know, sometimes it's nice to have science kind of back up statements of the obvious.

Internet addiction is a phenomenon that has been researched for years. In one study, brain scans revealed that the brains of internet addicts are similar to those of people addicted to drugs or alcohol. And there are rehab centers for internet addiction. Like, in Washington there is Restart, which takes in patients and limits their technology use for 8-12 weeks.

Internet addiction isn't the only thing that can change your wiring. Experts now believe that Google has an impact on our brains. People tend to refrain from remembering information that they've learned on the internet, because they know they can just Google it later. So long-term memory is, um, changing.

According to one estimate, if you printed the entire internet onto paper, it would be between 68.1 and 136 billion pages. Currently, the most popular password is "123456", and in second place "password". Come on, people. You can do better.

One 2011 study examined how much time people spend on websites before clicking away. They found that the average visit was less than one minute. So, thanks for sticking around this long, I guess. You made it pretty far.

Another interesting internet study looked at the biases of internet memes. The researchers analyzed over 1,000 memes and found that 45% of people found in memes are Caucasian, compared to 0.2% for Hispanics. Also, there are twice as many men than there are women.

American baby boomers and seniors spend more time per week on the internet than they do watching TV, listening to radio, or reading newspapers, and they spend 100% of that time on Facebook, commenting on your posts from 2007.

According to a study conducted by the American Psychological Association, blogging can be a therapeutic activity. And it might even help teens with anxiety improve their self-esteem.

And finally, I return to the salon to tell you that the average American household with two teenage children currently contains about ten devices that connect to the internet. Experts estimate that by 2022, that will increase to 50 devices. Personally, I can't wait for my networked garlic press.

Thanks for watching Mental Floss Video, which is made with the help of all of these very nice people. Once again, my name is Mike Rugnetta. If you like my face, you can see more of it on my YouTube channel, Idea Channel. And if you like my voice, you can hear it on my podcast, Reasonably Sound. We'll put links to both of those things in the description. Leave us your best "gif versus jif versus zhife" arguments in the comments below.