Not everyone understands the deepest inner workings of the internet rabbit hole known as Reddit. People do know that things from the web tend to aggregate there. They know that while not all memes are born on Reddit, many of them go through their adolescence there before they enter the mainstream and are used incorrectly at the bottom of office-wide email blasts. However, amongst all the world news, viral videos, and celebrity Q&As, there lies a hidden cache of truly unique content and experiences to be had. Read on to have your mind grapes blasted by concepts undefined until Reddit stepped in.
Reddit is filled with extremely interesting photos. However, you won’t find any recently discovered ancient Greek mosaics, buckets filled with baby owls, or naturally formed but sculpted looking ice walls on /r/MildlyInteresting.
Instead you’ll find pictures like this KitKat missing the wafer, two couples dining near each other that happened to match, and perhaps most mild of all: this security camera with a tiny windshield wiper on it. There’s something special about the small joys that come from regularly occurring and noticeable-but-not-worth-telling moments, and they’ve finally found a home on the web.
/r/TIFU (Today I Fucked Up)
People fuck up every day. They accidentally use a picture of an Ewok on their job applications. They expose their genitals to their girlfriend’s family over Skype. They realize that they’ve been using toilets wrong their entire life.
Unfortunately, fuckups on this sort of scale tend to be the most embarrassing moments of their subjects’ lives. This means they usually don’t make it to the light of day. Now thanks to /r/TIFU, everyone can whip up a throwaway account and share the epic fails they wouldn’t want coming to light in the real world, or at the very least, find an audience that cares how badly they managed to mess up their latest batch of mac and cheese.
There’s a lot to know out there in the world. Some of the questions we don’t have answers to are highly scientific along the lines of “Why does light travel?” and “Why don’t we dump our trash in Volcanoes?” Some of the things we don’t know are more easily explained in layman’s terms such as “What exactly is dry cleaning?” and “Why does Yankee Doodle call his hat ‘Macaroni’?”
The questions asked on /r/ExplainLikeImFive vary greatly, but they all share a common theme: a lack of understanding requiring clarification fit for a kindergartener. The biggest surprise here is that “Where do babies come from?” hasn’t made it to the top ten posts.
Some subreddits like these explore ideas that exist in our minds but there are no words for. /r/OddlySatisfying features gifs of bubble wrap being popped and pictures of perfectly round pancakes that tickle the obsessive compulsive in each of us. Other subreddits, like /r/TsundereSharks, which applies a common Japanese graphic novel narrative to images of sharks with secret crushes on divers, are simply bizarre (yet ring true to 28,000 subscribers). By giving a voice to these abstract thoughts we never quite knew how to bring into reality, Reddit is literally expanding human consciousness.