This Bizarre Illustration is Taking Over the Internet for Some Reason

By Chris Mills on at

Back in 2011, illustrator Erica Glasier created this artwork for a Forbes article titled ‘The Bank of Facebook: Currency, Identity, Reputation’. For reasons unclear, that image now makes up one in every 120 images on Imgur, the internet’s leading photo repository.

The phenomenon seems to have been first spotted by a Reddit user back in February, and more recently analysed in detail by TheGamble.

TheGamble, himself a Reddit user, analysed a million random Imgur URLs and recorded what was found at each one. Monopoly Man, as Glasier’s image has been dubbed, showed up 3,568 times. That’s 0.833 per cent of all Imgur images, meaning that it’s been uploaded around 3.2 million times, which is an absurdly high number for anything that’s not the work of some secret Illuminati botnet.

Interestingly, the phenomenon of bizarre uploads isn’t just restricted to Monopoly Man: other images, like these smartphones or the ‘White Line’ also appear more than they anyone would expect.

Most likely, it’s some kind of programming quirk, or Imgur test file; then again, this sounds way too much like an NSA plot to be explained away by technospeak. Monopoly Man truthers, unite. What’s your theory? [Reddit]

Image credit: Erica Glasier/Forbes