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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Universal Dreams
"That's ... unsettling." "Yeah, those definitely don't sound like the normal drea- LATITUDE THREE FIVE POINT..."
Title text: "That's ... unsettling." "Yeah, those definitely don't sound like the normal drea- LATITUDE THREE FIVE POINT..."


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a DREAM - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

The first and second panel are a discussion between Megan and Ponytail about dreams. Megan mentions a dream or nightmare about failing to prepare for an exam despite not being a student for years. This is similar to the dream depicted in 557: Students. Ponytail responds that certain dreams occur with surprising frequency among many people [citation needed], dubbing them "Universal Dreams" (which is the title of the comic).

In the third panel, Black Hat describes an avatar of misfortune in the form of a horse appearing on a hill. This may be a reference to 2007 film Michael Clayton, which features a dream like sequence where the title character stops his car, gets out and approaches 3 horses on a hillside just minutes before his car explodes.

In the last panel, Black Hat describes having dreams where he receives specific information about the real-world, which seems closer to prophesying or precognition than what would be considered a normal dream, as normal dreams do not tell the future [citation needed]. This may be a reference to the 2009 film Knowing where a child writes down the latitude and longitude of disasters (including earthquakes) that will occur 50 years in the future. Dreaming of latitude and longitude was also a topic of 240: Dream Girl, but in contrast the events in that dream did not come true.

In the title text, either Megan or Ponytail is responding to black hat when they are interrupted by a the first part of geographic coordinates- Latitude 35. 35 degrees North would include 31 major cities around the world, including 11 in Japan and 8 in the USA; the only major city within 35 degrees South is Canberra, Australia. This suggest an earthquake would happen soon in one of those major cities. The second half of the coordinates are most likely cut off to add uncertainty to the situation. The title text also implies the whole comic might be a dream -- just as Black Hat described, in the middle of one of the girls responding she suddenly and unexpectedly started saying a latitude coordinate.


[Megan, Ponytail, and Black Hat are standing around.]
Megan: I've been out of school for years, but I still get those dreams where I have an exam and I didn't prepare.
[Ponytail shrugs.]
Ponytail: I think that's one of those weird universal dreams— like forgetting your clothes or discovering rooms in your house you didn't know about.
Black Hat: Yeah! Or when you're having a normal dream, but then a horse appears on a distant hilltop, and it means that the dream is about to turn bad!
[Zoom-in on Black Hat.]
Ponytail or Megan (off-screen): I... What?
Black Hat: I have that one like every night.
[Megan and Ponytail look at Black Hat.]
Black Hat: Or those ones where you're talking to someone, and they start repeating a latitude and longitude over and over, and then you wake up that morning and there's an earthquake there.
Black Hat: Haha, dreams, right? So weird!

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