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The Rife Team

Three unsolved internet mysteries for you to obsess over

Adam shares some of the weirdest unexplained happenings on the web

In our technologically advanced, interconnected world, you may not think that there’s anything you could be missing out on. After all, if you want an answer to a question you can just look it up on your phone, laptop or tablet. But what if I told you there was another side to the world wide web? One with many mysteries? Here are just a few of the most compelling mysteries the internet has ever witnessed.

(Some of the content in this article may be considered disturbing. Reader discretion is advised.)

Cicada 3301

Arguably one of the most famous internet mysteries ever, Cicada 3301 originated on the anonymous message board 4chan, in 2012. Named after an insect, the organisation posted an image of white text on a black background (found below). The poster asks for “highly intelligent individuals”, claiming that a secret is hidden within the image – it turned out that by opening the image file in a text-editing application, a string of characters appeared. These were then quickly decoded, leading to a website containing a large image of a duck, and some discouraging text. After realising this was a red herring, participants in the puzzle quickly caught on and found the message a different way, which led down an even deeper internet rabbit hole. After these puzzles had been solved, the organisation would apparently retire until reappearing in years later with more puzzles to solve.

Some claim to have reached the end of the mystery, although their credibility is shaky, since it is widely believed that those who complete the puzzles are recruited and never heard from again. There have been many theories thrown around since its debut, ranging from cult conspiracies to a fight for better online encryption. Whatever the case, the organisation seems to have vanished in recent years, and there aren’t any more puzzles for the moment. It is unknown whether they will return or not, but if they do, be sure to have a deerstalker hat ready.

Kanye Quest

In 2013 a wacky new RPG hit the computer-games market, titled “Kanye Quest 3030”. The game centred around the title character, Kanye West, in a comedic portrayal that saw him travel through time to take down an evil dictator and stop a dystopian future. With a mix of hip-hop sounds and absurdist comedy, it’s no wonder the game gained fans – but then the mystery began.

Two years later, a pastebin article claimed that by typing the word “ASCEND” into a specific console you could enter a secret area that had been previously undiscovered. Players quickly tried this out, only to find that it did indeed work. Those who tried it out were transported in-game to a foggy area filled with computers that the player had to enter passwords in to proceed. The player character was also changed to a butterfly, and asked not to share any information about what was to come. Furthermore, a QR code was discovered that led to a now defunct website, presumably holding all of the passwords. Once the final password is entered, the player is teleported to a completely white room where they are told that “further ascension is possible”, and that they will be interacted with in the next two weeks. Agreeing to this forces the player to enter personal details, however it has been proved that the game has no way of storing these, and so many believe this to be part of an ARG (alternate reality game).

However, the game has also been tied strongly to the religious cult of Ascensionism, and has links to a mysterious company “Ascension Records”. Another game titled Calypso was found on their website, which held even more confusing content. The true meaning of the secret has remained unsolved to this day, and there are few still trying to solve it. Next to nothing is known about the game’s developers, which further complicates things. As of now it remains a cold case.


Since 2006, a Korean woman going by the name of Chip-Chan has been livestreaming her life 24/7. First discovered on a 4chan webcam thread, attention initially rose due to people thinking she was dead, however it soon turned out she was only sleeping in a strange position and would often do so for abnormally long periods of time. But why is she constantly streaming herself?

Chip-Chan claims to be held hostage by a corrupt police officer only known as ‘P’ – as shown by several signs written in Korean all around her apartment. Audio clips from her streams show that she believes he has implanted a mind-control device inside her ankle that can make her fall unconscious at will, thus preventing her from ever leaving her apartment. However, images showing her out in the streets have surfaced which challenge these claims, and she has also changed residence multiple times. Judging from her physical appearance, she is extremely lethargic and in poor health, with skin rashes and wounds of unknown origin visible in the content that she uploads. This could obviously be a result of her lifestyle, which consists of only surfing the internet or sleeping, and it is rumoured that she has been living this way since 1999. Her YouTube channel “Mind Control Weapon” can be found here.

Whilst nobody knows a specific answer for her strange behaviour, as with every mystery, a few theories have been thrown around. Some think that this could be an elaborate art project, whilst others think she is mentally ill. There is also a chance that everything she has claimed could be true, but as far as we know, that is unlikely. She is still streaming as recently as two months before this was written. Perhaps next time we tune in to a stream, we might just get all the answers we need.

Got any more weird internet goings-on to add to this list? Tell us in the comments.