The internet can be a dark and scary place...but sometimes you can also learn a lot of cool things in that dark and scary place. That's what I call balance.
So when Reddit user OcampaJones asked, "What's the best kept secret on the internet?" I just needed to know the deep, dark secrets of the interwebs. Here are some of the strangest things that apparently exist:
1. The way to recover documents online is a mystery...but it exists:
"The Wayback Machine and how you can recover deleted news articles, posts, and other unreachable pages. It's the reason nothing on the internet is truly ever deleted."
2. We really don't know who founded bitcoin, which...makes sense but is also totally weird:
"Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? They say it's the name of the creator of bitcoin, but it's an alias. The true founders have never been revealed."
3. Or the (potentially evil) genius behind the Cicada 3301 puzzles:
"The identity of the creator or creators of the Cicada 3301 puzzles. With Cicada, the puzzles and steps for potential recruits are quite complex, so it seems like a lot of trouble to go through for this kind of project. One thing that seems somewhat bizarre to me is that many complex puzzles and steps to get through would narrow the pool of successful recruits to a small number, but then keeping the organization's structure and operations almost totally hidden to its new members would likely cause high turnover."
4. Reddit karma is calculative and not by random chance:
"How karma is calculated. Apparently there are a series of sequences that show karma is not random, but scientific."
5. Apparently, there are free college courses you can take online:
"People really don't know about MOOCs (massive online open courses). There are college courses from universities everywhere, and they are free to enroll and participate in online."
6. This shopping secret that I'm actually trying as I type:
"Don't buy anything straightaway, but leave it in your cart for a week. For most places, there's a high chance you'll get a discount offer. I know because I used to work for a company what would set the machinations for it."
7. Also, there are secret coupons — well, not totally secret but ways to get that discount, honey:
"Save10, save20, and save30 are premier discount codes on a surprising amount of websites. Anytime you're ready to check out, just try one of these codes and it'll probably work."
8. There are women on Reddit (which I guess is a secret, but also not):
"My wife won't let me tag her in posts because she doesn't want her gender to be known. She used to have a username that made it obvious she was a woman, and I witnessed firsthand how her comments were interpreted on certain subjects. When she changed her username to something gender-neutral, that's when I really noticed the difference, and it's quite obvious. It's sad."
9. This secret that helps you save money on Amazon:
"Camelcamelcamel — it's a tool that tracks the prices of everything on Amazon. You can see trends on products, like if the product goes on sale a certain time of year. You can set notifications to alert you if a product dips below a certain price. It's an invaluable tool if you do a lot of Amazon shopping."
10. There are phone apps that'll help you steal... I mean, save on gas:
"A certain service station/fuel company in Australia has a phone app that lets you lock in the price of fuel at your closest fuel station for a week. People have 'found various ways' to lock in the price of fuel at any of their stores in Australia (against the TOS), giving you huge discounts if your local fuel services are expensive/at the top of the cycle."
11. This secret that'll brighten up any music lover's day:
"I love radiooooo.com. You can listen to music from around the world, even different decades, at the click of a button. If you're into world music, definitely check it out."
12. This handy Firefox secret:
"The 'Inspect Element' tool on Firefox can be used nefariously if you know how to use it correctly. I can't say the different ways you can use it, but it is pretty epic."
13. That secret 'S':
"Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but that one 'S' everybody used to draw. There's like an entire conspiracy theory on where it originated, even though we don't know a specific time when it first appeared."
14. And lastly, this secret that's so hard to explain, I guess you just have to read it:
"There's this concept called 'The Library of Babel.' It is a fascinating experiment which uses algorithms to prove Jorge Luis Borges' theory that anything and everything text-based can be, and has been, created through the random assignment of characters using a labyrinth of bookshelves in a hexagon format.Every work of fiction or nonfiction can be created word-for-word randomly given enough permutations. Anything randomly discovered in the library will be in exactly the same spot when rediscovered without having to generate the millions and millions of pages of text and store it."
This is literally my face while reading some of these. Well, IDK whether to be impressed, creeped out, or ready to spiral into more information.
Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.