Every year, DeviantArt celebrates April Fools' Day by running some kind of ridiculous prank. Our ideas have ranged from pretty believable (like deviantHEART
, a dating site dedicated to artists), to a little more "out there" (like thoughtART
, the technology we developed that allows users to create and search for art using their minds).
This year, we were blown away by how many deviants took part in our LOLWUT Pear prank
The Backstory Behind The LOLWUT Pear
In 2006, ursulav
published an illustration of a pear titled The Biting Pear of Salamanca
. This lovable pear soon took off as a popular meme, commonly referred to as the "lolwut pear," and often used in online conversations when one's only response to a baffling situation is: "lolwut?" While the meme has been around for over a decade, we never truly paid it the tribute it deserved as a community.
LOLWUT is an image macro and catchphrase used in online conversations to indicate feelings of confusion or bewilderment about something another person has shared.
—Know Your Meme
DeviantArt Becomes A Pear Fan Site
On April 1st, we announced that DeviantArt's purpose had changed direction to becoming a fan site for the LOLWUT pear
. A few weeks beforehand, we contacted 76 amazing deviants who agreed to help make our joke fruitful by creating fan art for the pear — and some were already huge fans of the pear.
The Pears Begin To Ripen
On March 31st at midnight, 18 hours before the joke was being announced, we silently opened the Biting Pear of Salamanca fan art category
, letting our 76 artists submit to early to get everything prepared. By about 9AM, we reached 100 total submissions. By about noon, 300. This is when people started to see a trend in their Notifications. People were talking about it in Chat and even posting tweets about it. All of their favorite artists were submitting pears.
People soon realized that submission into our special Biting Pear of Salamanca category got them a shiny new badge, which inspired artists around the globe to submit pears of their own!
By around 3PM, we hit 1,000 pears, at some points reaching a rate of 5ppm (pears per minute). Once we finally announced the joke at 9PM (midnight Eastern Time), we already had nearly 5,000 pears — and this was entirely without any official announcement of the April Foolery from DeviantArt!
We saw everything from sexy pears
to alien pears
to 3D pears
to pears in mecha suits
(and, of course, pears in pear mechs
) to Peariel
(from The Little Pearmaid,
obviously) to pear nightmares
.Over the weekend, we reached a total of 28,398 pears, created by 27,114 deviants.
We even caused a surge in Google searches.
DeviantArt, spiking the relevancy of pears and lolwuts approximately every 11 years.
Thank You To The Artists Who Got This Started!
We couldn’t have reached the submissions or had this meme-of-a-meme take off without all the amazing deviants who were in on the joke planting tiny pear seeds of inspiration in the minds of all their watchers. You are all amazing, right to the core.
And, of course, thank you to ursulav
for letting us pay tribute to her wonderful pear, and to everyone else who submitted fruity deliciousness of all genres and styles!