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About

iPhone Whale is an emoticon of a cartoon whale sent using iPhone’s messaging app iChat. The concept became popular after a screenshot of the chat log was posted on the web, spawning a number of variations and parodies on Tumblr and Reddit.

Origin

The original image was posted by Tumblr user DaringCatastrophe[4] on September 7th, 2011, showing a short snippet of an iPhone conversation featuring an ordinary whale and a baby version. As of September 10th, 2011, the original post had gained over 240,000 notes on Tumblr.

Spread

On September 8th, 2011, the image was posted onto Reddit by the user SweetAlmighty, with the title “Life of a Whale Biologist”[1], where it also became popular, reaching the front page and amassing over 880,000 views. Other threads[2][3] featuring variations of the image, failed attempts and other “ASCII” animals soon started appearing, with some even reaching the site’s frontpage as well.

On September 9th, single topic blog iPhone Whale[9] was launched on Tumblr, inspiring photoshopped parodies based on popular films and fictions about whales. The texting phenomenon was also covered by several tech and internet humor blogs like BuzzFeed[7], FunnyJunk[5] and TechEBlog[8] among others.

Notable Examples


Derivatives


Search Interest

External References

[1] Reddit – Life of a Whale Biologist

[2] Reddit – AAAAGGHHH FUCK THIS WHALE SHIT

[3] Reddit – My Dad’s Response to That’s a Whale

[4] Tumblr – Original iPhone Whale

[5] FunnyJunk – iPhone Whale Comp

[6] Yahoo Answers – How do I do the iPhone whale?

[7] BuzzFeed – iPhone Whales

[8] TechEBlog – iPhone Whale Becomes Latest Texting Trend

[9] Tumblr – iPhone Whale

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