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By Scott Langill

ZALGO

ZALGO

“He Waits Behind The Wall, in a palace of tortured glass, served by legions forged from the tears of the sleepless dead and clad in armor carved from the suffering of mothers.” You see that phrase a lot in the webpages linked to the 42,000 plus hits Zalgo will get on Google. The one shown above is from the Encyclopedia Dramatica. Know Your Meme is quick to point out that Zalgo is not a meme, nor an H.P. Lovecraft character. Zalgo refers to the corruption of perfectly innocent things and ideas, such as comics, stories or memes; to make them eerie and Lovecraftian.

Zalgo is not on Wikipedia but User:Zalgo is. “Zalgo is not going to tell you what Zalgo is, for Zalgo is not.” There are many Zalgos on MySpace and Facebook; and there are 117 Zalgo YouTube videos. Zalgo.com is empty but Zalgoapproaches.com is not. It is believed Zalgo emerged sometime in 2004 in some comic book spoofs on 4chan. 4chan is an English-language imageboard website and its users have been responsible for the formation and/or popularization of internet memes such as lolcats, Rickrolling, and “Chocolate Rain.” The site’s random board (known as “/b/”) is by far its most popular and notorious. Zalgo, He Comes! on centerNegative.com has some nice samples of Zalgo corrupted comics.

Of course, unless your browser can display unicode the full bizarrenessitude of Zalgo fonts will be lost on you. You can see a sample on skorgu.net. But then one of the webpages below made my browser crash and that’s always a good sign.

Encyclopedia Dramatica: Zalgo

Know Your Meme: Zalgo

User:Zalgo – Wikipedia

Zalgo Approaches

4chan

ZALGO, HE COMES!

Zalgo unicode font samples


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