Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Abandon all hope and gaze upon this deeply cursed image of unidentifiable objects

Screenshot: @melip0ne

“If you gaze into the abyss,” Nietzsche famously wrote, “the abyss gazes back into you.” So is the case with a mysterious image circulating on the internet, retrieved from some dim cavern on the dark seabed of our digital age and forced into the harsh light of a public eye unequipped to handle it.

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Posted by @melip0ne on Twitter yesterday with the cruelly simple challenge to “Name one thing in this photo,” the image first appears innocuous enough—a pile of random junk—but, like a reverse magic eye, only gets more inscrutable the longer it’s examined.

Looking a little bit like a shitty artist’s installation, the collection seems to defy reason. Is that a fur stole in the bottom right or a crying monkey, only an ear exposed as it weeps into its little monkey paws? Just above it there seems to be a taxidermied miniature goat head crowned with a turtle’s shell or, maybe, just a blurred out lava lamp with a hat resting on it. On the left, there are either small cabinets lined with strings of jewelry or clear bags of garbage that have, for whatever reason, been decorated with black lines.

Twitter hasn’t been doing any better at wrapping its collective head around this puzzle.

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Offering little help but the knowledge that something irreversible happens to the viewer when considering these strange shapes, the original poster has replied to people’s dismay by either telling them they’re now cursed...

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...or making sure nobody gets too comfortable even assuming the image was captured in an environment that makes sense to our feeble minds.

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It would be nice to know where, exactly, the picture came from. But that doesn’t seem to be in the cards either.

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No, we just have to assume that some evil magician, drunk on powers beyond mortal comprehension, has summoned the image from realms we were never meant to witness. Or maybe that’s too reasonable an explanation. Maybe this picture created itself, vomited by the jerky evolutionary first steps of an artificial intelligence being born before our terrified eyes.

Anyway, happy Tuesday, everyone.

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

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About the author

Reid McCarter

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.