11 things that infuriated the internet in 2016
While 2016 won’t go down as a vintage year for political stability across the world, nor the safety of our childhood heroes, it has turned out to be very good indeed for one thing in particular:
Winding up the internet.
After last year’s furore over that dress, the web has since been rife with mind-melting puzzles, optical illusions and outright annoying imagery.
Here are 11 of the best (or worst) from this year. Prepare to get riled.
1. Shiny legs or painted white?
A natural successor to the whole brouhaha over the dress, debate was in abundance when internet users were posed a simple question – are these legs oiled or spattered with white paint?
Interestingly, it would appear from the subsequent coverage (of which there was tons, because it’s 2016 and the media has eaten itself) that most people at first see shiny legs, but once they realise it is in fact paint, they cannot unsee it.
2. Another brick in the wall
What at first glance appeared to be a standard, slightly grainy photo of a brick wall, turned out to be so, so much more.
If you’ve not been made aware of what it is just yet, spend the time-honoured 10-minutes studying it – it’s not a turtle’s head, no – then get the right hump and click here to see what it is.
Smoke and mirrors, man. Smoke and mirrors.
3. Tri, tri, tri again
Possibly the worst strain of brainteaser, this – one that doesn’t have a conclusive answer.
Look at the picture, count the triangles, feel terrible/smug depending on how many you’ve clocked.
But wait, some believe there are not merely 18, but 19, 24, 28 even.
Cheers for ruining our day, People’s Daily, China.
4. Spot the dog
A wordsearch containing the letters ‘D’, ‘O’ and ‘G’, and there’s just one word to find (no prizes for guessing which).
Easy, right? No, actually. No, no, no, no, for-crying-out-loud-WHERE-IS-IT no.
Read it, weep, then cheat your way to success over here.
5. Impossible maths questions
This question was written for 10-year-olds. TEN-YEAR-OLDS. And yet the collective beast known as The Internet could scarcely work it out.
As the picture explains, simply calculate the combined perimeter of the shapes. If only it was that simple.
We don’t remember Year Five maths being this soul-sappingly painful.
6. Find My iPhone
Just when you thought losing it down the back of the sofa was the height of smartphone-based irritation, some evil demon posted a photo of one hiding in plain sight.
Look at the picture. There’s an iPhone in it. Honestly. THERE IS.
Ok, once you’re quite done punching your screen, reveal its location here.
7. Spot the dot
This eye-numbing, brain-scorching test – in which you identify letters in the off-colour circles – drove people to distraction, and possible blindness, earlier this year.
Play it here, you masochist.
8. Schrodinger's car
A puzzle so good, only a third of people (us not included) were able to work it out. The Riddler would be proud.
Not in the 33%? Cheat.
9. Optical irritation
Is it a bird carrying a baby? Is it a rat with wings? Or a penguin taking a leak?
No. It’s Superma… no it’s not Superman, either. But it did prove to be the kryptonite of a whole bunch of people online, some devoting hours of their actual life until they could work out what it was.
In a hurry? Find out quicker.
10. Mathematical madness
Hooray! Another simple-seeming maths equation to make us feel two inches tall with the brain of an earwig.
Seems you either get it right away, or not at all.
If you fall into the latter camp, admit defeat and move on with your life.
11. Whose heart is it anyway?
Rows of hearts that are definitely two different shades. Definitely, right? Yeah definitely.
At least this one came with a scientific explanation. Shame it didn’t also come with double Nurofen, to help ease the accompanying migraine.