back to top

The History Behind Those Viral Baboon GIFs

The most famous baboons on the internet, explained.

Posted on

Finally, has Vox tracked down the tale behind our favorite baboon GIFs. Despite being filmed 13 years ago for stock photography, they are still the most relevant animal GIFs ever!

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via youtube.com

Surely you've seen this GIF floating around the interwebs:

Giphy / Via giphy.com

Has there ever been another series of images that so accurately captures your daily life?

Giphy / Via giphy.com

Meet G.K. and Vikki Hart, the husband-and-wife stock photography team we all should thank for bringing the baboons into our lives:

Vox / Via youtube.com

They filmed the baboons 13 years ago, before Twitter, Tumblr, and Reddit even existed!

Vox / Via youtube.com

There were GIFs back then, but they looked like this:

Vox / Via youtube.com

They never expected the baboons would become memes. They just love working with animals and have been doing it for ages.

Vox / Via youtube.com

"They're universal. So, people love them everywhere."

Their images usually appear on greeting cards, books, and ads. But before the internet discovered the baboons, they appeared in Steve Carell's Dinner for Schmucks in 2010.

Giphy / Via youtube.com

In April 2014, digital artist Steph Davidson came across the baboons while looking through stock footage and made a GIF for her Tumblr.

Vox / Via youtube.com

A year later, the baboons took off on Twitter.

Vox / Via youtube.com

The Harts spent a month preparing for the shoot that would change our lives for the better. They made baboon-sized props and rigged up the chair.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOxJwTxrIX4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOxJwTxrIX4

The three baboons involved were trained to type and use the phone...

Vox / Via youtube.com

...But the best stuff was pure baboon improv:

Vox / Via youtube.com

THANK YOU G.K. AND VIKKI FOR BRINGING SO MUCH JOY INTO OUR LIVES!

Vox / Via youtube.com
The best things at three price points