1. Kim Kardashian (Paper Magazine Cover)
Many everyday ordinary people become viral sensations by mistake, however Internet fame often kind of just falls into the lap of celebrities. Some people, like Kim Kardashian for example tend to branch out and specifically seek out to achieve new buzz that “breaks” the Internet, and when the most famous Kardashian sister posed on the cover of Paper magazine baring nothing but her her extremely shiny butt, alongside the headline that started it all – “Break the Internet: Kim Kardashian” the Kardashian queen instantly became the most talked about celebrity on the internet and just one day after publishing the story, Paper’s website saw a 6.6. million increase in page views. Just 48 hours after the release, the site generated over 15.9 million page views and reached over 11 million unique visitors.
2. Jeremy Meeks
Jeremy Meeks may not be a name you instantly recognise but his face quickly rose to fame when his undeniably good-looking mugshot that was first posted by the police department of Stockton, California began circulating. The Internet quickly leaped into what could only be described as a mess of giddy, swooning schoolgirls. Despite the fact that police called him “one of the most violent criminals in the Stockton area,” citizens, along with admirers from the internet were determined to make Jeremy Meeks a star and household name, with some even rallying to get him a modelling contract. While Meeks never actually did get a modelling contract, it’s safe to say his mugshot can go down as one of the most famous ever posted, and is now recognised around the world.
3. The Dress
You may have forgotten this 2015 phenomenon but the dress is something that had the entire internet in a frenzy. To put it shortly, a dress shared in a viral tweet quickly went viral when people started arguing over whether the dress actually looked gold and white or whether it looked blue and black. The dress pictured in the close-up photo was actually a blue and black bandage dress with lace and mesh detailing from British retailer Roman Originals. However, some people swore to seeing the dress as different colours.
It’s still not entirely clear why people saw the dress differently; Roman Originals said scientists are still investigating the phenomenon and have published multiple peer-reviewed journal articles about the garment. It is now rumoured that the brightness on the device used by an individual could alter the colours shown, but nothing is yet to be confirmed, even almost four years later.
On social media, the debate spawned 7.6 million tweets and a surge in traffic to Roman Originals’ site. The retailer sold out of the original black and gold dress in 34 minutes and eventually sold a white and gold version in support of British charity Comic Relief.
4. Ice Bucket Challenge
The ice bucket challenge was something that seemingly no one could escape. The world-wide phenomenon that dominated social media for weeks and weeks on end included a huge number of celebrity participants who jumped at the chance to share videos of themselves dumping ice water over their heads, all part of an effort to raise money and awareness for ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.)
The videos spread far and wide, with one posted by Bill Gates’ even racking up over 20 million views. Eventually, the trend came to an end and the ALS Association reported on raising $115 million to fight the disease thanks to it.
5. Steve Harvey (Miss Universe)
Arguably one of the most awkward and no doubt most uncomfortable moments in TV history has to be when Steve Harvey, inadvertently crowned the wrong winner for the Miss Universe pageant. Easy mistake, right? Turns out, when Harvey was presenting the winner, he misread the name of the winner on the card and what followed was a stream of viral memes and awkward interviews.
To make matters worse he apologised in a tweet and misspelled both names of the countries each representative was from.