The Messages That Started One of the Internet’s Oldest Unsolved Mysteries

The true meaning of the Markovian Parallax Denigrate is still unknown.

November 15, 2017 10:00 am
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What exactly is the true meaning of the Markovian Parallax Denigrate? More than 20 years after its creation, the answer is still unclear. It has been called the Internet’s “oldest and weirdest mystery,” according to Atlas Obscuraand it all started with early internet posts from the mid-1990s.

It started in 1996, when the discussion system Usenet was still in use. It worked like a forum. Hundreds of odd messages began to appear across Usenet. They consisted of blocks of “seemingly nonsensical strings of words that read like terrible slam poetry,” writes Atlas Obscura. However, they all shared a meaningless subject line: “Markovian parallax denigrate.”

Some people thought they were part of a secret code, and they were likened to the broadcasts of enigmatic Cold War number stations. But no one has ever been able to crack or find a way to decipher it. Another theory was that it was one of the first attempts at a bot. Kevin Morris wrote about it for the Daily Dot and thought it was the work of a controversial alleged spy, Susan Lindauer because her name appears in the “From” line of the remaining archived message. And finally, there is the theory that it was the work of one the first Internet trolls, writes Atlas Obscura. 

It seems unlikely at this point that the Markovian parallax denigrate will ever be solved, but people will most likely keep trying.

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