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The Internet Is Freaking Out Over This Mindblowing Textbook Cover

This algebra textbook tore a hole in the space-time continuum.

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People on the internet are freaking out about the cover of this algebra textbook. Please take a look. Can you see why?

Imgur / Via i.imgur.com

Look closer 👀

http://i.imgur.com/YVaTytB.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/YVaTytB.jpg

The people on the cover of the textbook ARE HOLDING COPIES OF THE TEXTBOOK WITH A PHOTO OF THEM ON THE COVER.

Warner Bros / Via giphy.com

It's some crazy Inception math textbook shit, and whenever it resurfaces online people cannot handle it.

The image first gained attention a year ago on Reddit (and has appeared in at least one post on BuzzFeed, too). This week a tweet with the textbook cover went viral:

how the fuck are they already on the textbook if theyre posing for it

"When I sent it I honestly expected a couple likes, maybe a retweet or two AT MOST,” said Isabelle, the Twitter user, who declined to give her last name to BuzzFeed News.

Isabelle put out a call for people to explain the image. Her personal theory involved a green screen.

Twitter / Via Twitter: @riarklerise

Or maybe it was...

Twitter / Via Twitter: @Poll_Fab

This woman had a theory that they took the photo and then printed it on a few textbooks for the students to hold — and then took another photo.

Twitter / Via Twitter: @puertowiccan

But people were very skeptical.

Twitter / Via Twitter: @puertowiccan

Some had dark theories about what was going on.

Twitter / Via Twitter: @astrotour2010

A guy said his entire class got into a debate about the book last year. Conclusion: Photoshop!

Most people seemed to think the publisher took an image of the students, added in the title and background, and then used that new image for the textbooks in the students' hands. If that's the case, then the image of students was likely a stock image, right?
Twitter / Via Twitter: @ZyBaCKK

Most people seemed to think the publisher took an image of the students, added in the title and background, and then used that new image for the textbooks in the students' hands. If that's the case, then the image of students was likely a stock image, right?

Right. In fact, a Reddit user found it a while back:

These "Multicultural College students, male and female" are indeed holding something different in the original.
123rf.com / Via 123rf.com

These "Multicultural College students, male and female" are indeed holding something different in the original.

And if you look at the textbook version, the students' arms cover up where the textbook would have to be.

Imgur / Via i.imgur.com

After being contacted by BuzzFeed News, the publisher of the textbook looked at Isabelle's tweet and said they are "absolutely overwhelmed" by the response on Twitter. The company also tweeted a reply:

@riarklerise Our goal is to keep students front and center in all we do. Sometimes we take it a bit too far #studentfocus

"If nothing else, perhaps we’ve helped to raise interest around the subject of algebra," said spokesperson Lindsay Stanley.