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Viral ‘500-toothed dinosaur’ meme sparks online controversy

Exploring the humorous and contentious journey of the '500-toothed dinosaur' meme

The digital landscape is often a hotbed of viral sensations, with humourous content frequently capturing the imagination of the online populace. One such instance is the emergence of the “Dinosaur With 500 Teeth” meme, which has captivated internet users for its peculiar intrigue. This article sheds light on how the meme started, its evolution across digital platforms, and the real-world context behind the humorous facade.

Tracing back to its origins, the first instance of caution against searching for the ‘500-toothed dinosaur’ can be pinpointed to a Reddit post on September 6th, 2019, within the /r/teenagers subreddit. A user implored others to refrain from Googling the term “dinosaur with 500 teeth,” setting the stage for the meme’s entry into the digital zeitgeist.

As the year drew to a close, the meme found fertile ground within certain Reddit communities known for their offbeat humour, including /r/comedynecrophilia and /r/okbuddyretard. Users like LifeOnMarsden and LordReggie69 played pivotal roles in circulating the meme, contributing to its viral spread.

However, as the meme’s popularity soared, it stumbled into controversy with some interpreting the warning about Googling the dinosaur as a veiled racial slur. Despite the meme’s beginnings in innocuous internet comedy, its association with the dinosaur’s name led to its misuse by certain individuals, who weaponised it as coded discriminatory language.

Beneath the layers of online banter, the subject of the meme is the Nigersaurus taqueti, a genuine prehistoric creature whose remains were uncovered in the Republic of Niger in 1976. This sauropod dinosaur roamed our planet between 115 and 105 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period.

The Nigersaurus is a testament to evolutionary uniqueness, possessing a broad mouth equipped with 500 slender teeth. Paleontologist Paul Sereno’s description of the dinosaur highlighted its distinct cranial structure, which contributed to its internet fame. The name Nigersaurus, which simply denotes “Niger reptile” and pays homage to its location of discovery, is paired with the species name “taqueti” in honour of the French paleontologist Philippe Taquet.

The meme has not only sparked debates over its interpretive undertones but also over the correct pronunciation of Nigersaurus. Current consensus aligns on “nye-jer-sawr-us” as the accurate pronunciation, steering clear of any offensive misinterpretations.

Amidst the meme’s viral journey and the surrounding controversy, it’s essential to acknowledge the scientific significance of the Nigersaurus within the field of paleontology, a significance that extends far beyond the confines of internet humour.

As a phenomenon that began as an innocent jest on Reddit, the “Dinosaur With 500 Teeth” meme’s path through social media has been marred by unanticipated disputes. The narrative of Nigersaurus serves as a reminder that the digital world’s comedic content can sometimes lead to unforeseen repercussions.

When the next meme surfaces, cautioning against an innocent Google search, it may be worth considering the backstory that lies beneath the surface. The case of the “Dinosaur With 500 Teeth” meme exemplifies the unpredictable trajectory of internet culture, where a simple joke can unexpectedly evolve into a subject of contention.

Lilly Larkin

Lilly is a writer with a diverse international background, having lived in various countries including Thailand. Her unique experiences provide valuable insights and culturally sensitive perspectives in her news reporting. When not writing, Lilly enjoys exploring local art scenes, volunteering for community projects, and connecting with people from different cultures.