1037: Umwelt

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Umwelt
Umwelt is the idea that because their senses pick up on different things, different animals in the same ecosystem actually live in very different worlds. Everything about you shapes the world you inhabit--from your ideology to your glasses prescription to your web browser.
Title text: Umwelt is the idea that because their senses pick up on different things, different animals in the same ecosystem actually live in very different worlds. Everything about you shapes the world you inhabit--from your ideology to your glasses prescription to your web browser.

[edit] Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Many of the strips are not explained
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

An Umwelt, as the title text explains, is the idea that ones entire way of thinking is dependent on their surroundings. Thus, this April Fools comic changes based on the browser, location, or referrer. Thus, what the viewer is viewing the comic on, where they live, or where they came from determines which comic they actually see. As a result, there are actually multiple comics that went up on April Fools' Day, although only one is seen.

Information about how the wide variety of data was collected and credit for the viewers who contributed can be found here.

[edit] The Void

umwelt the void.jpg

If the device or browser you are using does not support Javascript, you will simply see a static image of a white swirl on a dark background.

Possible reference to The Ring (http://imgur.com/wlGmm), as though to suggest that using an alternative browser is dismal and horrific.

Davean (xkcd's sysadmin): "[This] comic isn't available everywhere and it can come up i[n] some situation[s] only for recognized browsers."

Browser: Alternative Browser

[edit] Aurora

umwelt aurora.png

One could interpret that since Megan didn't go out and therefore missed seeing the Aurora, the main character lied. That way, she wouldn't have felt sad that she missed out.

One might also believe that since xkcd is normally a black and white comic, Cueball is colorblind and didn't see anything of interest to him.

This image changed based on the size of the browser window including different panels at different sizes.

Locations: Canada, Boston, Maine, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Minnesota, Norway, Denmark

[edit] Snake

umwelt snake composite 1024.png Full size

The joke here is the extreme length of snakes. The world's longest snake is the python, the longest ever being 33 feet or approx. 10 meters. The red and blue circles refer to the hit game Portal. There is also a reference to the book "The Little Prince" in the second panel.

Also, the number and content of the panels changes depending on the size of your browser window.

This image changed based on the size of the browser window including different panels at different sizes.

Specific AltText for this image: Umwelt is the idea that because their senses pick up on different things, different animals in the same ecosystem actually live in very different worlds. Everything about you shapes the world you inhabit -from your ideology to your glasses prescription to your browser window size.

Location: Texas (on Chrome Version 33.0.1750.154 m), New Jersey,

[edit] Black Hat

umwelt tortoise 1024.png Full size

An analyst attempts to psychoanalyze Black Hat's classhole tendencies. The joke here is that the turtle has actually been turned over and neither sees helping it as a priority. It's a reference to the Voight-Kampff test used in the movie Blade Runner (1982) to identify replicants.

Location: Seems to appear mostly in "other countries" — those without location-specific comics.

[edit] Too Quiet

umwelt too quiet 1024.png Full size

A reference to Jurassic Park which has been constantly referred to before in this comic.

Also referencing the film 2 Fast 2 Furious, an entertaining, yet intellectually unprovoking sequel in a popular film franchise, which is aimed at teenagers and young adults, prompting the blunt response from the stickman. The fact that Steve would use such a cliché noughties movie term in such an intense moment, and the subsequent curse, is the joke in this comic.

Location: short version — iPhone 5c Safari browser in Texas,

[edit] Pond

umwelt pond mobile.pngumwelt pond wide.png

Two different versions showed, the narrower version for mobile devices.

Location: unknown

[edit] Galaxies

umwelt galaxies 1024.jpg Full size

Megan is distracted from her conversation with Cueball by realizing that the space behind his head, from her vantage point, contains millions of galaxies. This is similar to an incredible photograph taken by the Hubble Telescope, in which a tiny dark area of space in fact contained numerous galaxies.

The title text is an imaginative leap from this scenario: that the galaxies would be up to no good once Cueball is turned away from them.

This comic was only reported once... the intended environmental context is a mystery.

Location: unknown

[edit] xkcd Gold

umwelt xkcd gold.png

This is probably a reference to the 4chan Gold Account, an implementation on 4chan that does not actually exist, and is usually used to trick newcomers into revealing their credit card numbers. The joke is that "Gold Account" users can supposedly block other users from viewing images they have posted. The fifth panel is probably a reference to Beecock, a notorious set of shocker images. 4chan's moderators have been known to give out "beecock bans" or "/z/ bans" to particularly annoying users, which redirect the user to a page containing beecock and the text "OH NO THE BOARD IS GONE".

Referrer: 4chan

[edit] Yo Mama

umwelt dog ballast.png

Possible reference to Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s "Harrison Bergeron."

Possibly a veiled criticism of Facebook. This could be slightly rewritten as: "This comic takes place in a dystopian future where the government is afraid of dissent, so it tracks everyone at all times, and some people privately doubt the government, but not enough to stop submitting information to Facebook. But that dystopian future is now."

Referrer: Facebook

[edit] Reddit

umwelt reddit.png

Reference to referencing, because Reddit, as a referring site, likes references to its referencing in its references.

This comic also features recursive imagery similar to Self Description where the second panel embeds the entire comic within itself.

Referrer: Reddit

[edit] Buns and Hot dogs

umwelt somethingawful.jpg

This is a reference to the question "Why do hot dogs come in packages of 6 while buns come in packages of 8?"

Referrer: SomethingAwful, Questionable Content, & MetaFilter

[edit] Twitter

umwelt twitter.jpg

A summary of the content "typically" found on Twitter.

In the tweet feed, there are three tweets about some podcast on the top, followed by the tweet containing link they clicked on to get to the comic, tweets about Rob Delaney, unspecified passive-aggressive tweets, and a tweet from Horse Ebooks retweeted by one of the users the reader follows.

On the left, the topmost dialog, with profile information, shows that the user has posted 1,302 tweets, but only follows 171 people and has even fewer followers, at a measly 48. This is marked with a sad face, implying that the user wants more followers.

Below that is the "who to follow" dialog, which is written up as consisting of "assholes".

Below that is the "trending tags" dialog for the United States. It is full of tags about word games, tags about misogyny, and tags about Justin Bieber.

Below that is an unidentified dialog full of "stuff your eyes automatically ignore". And finally, on the bottom is the background colour, which is "a really pleasant blue".

Referrer: Twitter

[edit] Wikipedia

umwelt wikipedia wide.jpg umwelt wikipedia mobile.png

The term Mile High Club (or MHC) is a slang term applied collectively to individuals who have sexual intercourse while on board an aircraft. Randall says that reading the news articles on it has distracted him from making that comic.

Two different versions showed, the narrower version for mobile devices.

Referrer: Wikipedia

[edit] Google Chrome

umwelt chrome1.jpg

Sergey Brin (born August 21, 1973) is an American computer scientist and Internet entrepreneur who, with Larry Page, co-founded Google, one of the most profitable Internet companies. As of 2013, his personal wealth was estimated to be $24.4 billion. Randall makes the joke that as the founder of Google, Brin's permission would be needed to use Google Chrome. Because there are millions of people who use Google, it is likely that at least some of the time Brin would be asleep, thus he would need to be woken.

Browser: Chrome

[edit] Chrome/Firefox

umwelt chrome2.png

Mozilla Firefox is a free and open-source web browser developed for Windows, OS X, and Linux, with a mobile version for Android, by the Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation. Cueball is complaining about Google Chrome, to which Ponytail replies that there is an add-on that fixes what he is complaining about. When questioned, she replies that the add-on is Firefox, which isn't an add-on at all and is instead a different browser.

Browser: Chrome

[edit] Google Chrome-2

umwelt chrome3.png

This panel references Google Chrome's error screen, which shows a puzzle piece. The comic humorously implies that Chrome is looking for that piece. However, the piece in question cannot possibly line up with any corner.

Browser: Chrome

[edit] Mozilla Firefox Private Browsing

umwelt firefox incognito.png

Another reference to crashing web browsers.

Browser: Firefox (Incognito only?)

[edit] Internet Explorer

umwelt ie.png

Yet another reference to crashing web browsers

Browser: Internet Explorer

[edit] Maxthon

umwelt maxthon.png

Browser: Maxthon

[edit] Netscape Navigator

umwelt netscape womanoctopus.png

umwelt netscape man.png

Netscape Navigator was a web browser popular in the 1990s.

Browser: Netscape

[edit] Rockmelt

umwelt rockmelt.png

Rockmelt is a social-media-based browser.

Reference to the gospel song "There's no hiding place down here" by The Carter Family, later covered by Stephen Stills.

I run to the rock just to hide my face
And the rocks cried out, no hiding place
There's no hiding place down here

It may additionally be a reference to the Babylon 5 episode "And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place," which featured the song.

Browser: Rockmelt

[edit] Plugin Disabled

umwelt plugin disabled.png

When the Google Chrome web browser does not have the required software (called a plug-in) to display a web page's content, it displays a puzzle piece icon and an error message. In this case, Chrome informs the user that the content is impossible to display.

Browser: Plugin (?) Disabled

[edit] Corporate Networks

umwelt corporate general.png umwelt corporate amazon chrome.png umwelt corporate amazon firefox.png umwelt corporate amazon other.png umwelt corporate google chrome.png umwelt corporate microsoft chrome.png umwelt corporate microsoft firefox.png umwelt corporate microsoft other.png umwelt corporate nytimes chrome.png umwelt corporate nytimes other.png

These error messages appear if the user is on a network owned by one of the corporations noted. The error message includes a warning against speaking on the company's behalf.

ISP: Corporate networks of Amazon, Google, Microsoft, NY Times

[edit] Military

umwelt military.png

Cueball assumes that anyone using a military network has an important job like watching for incoming missiles. He includes a thank-you to the user for their military service.

ISP: Military networks

[edit] T-Mobile

umwelt tmobile.png

Reference to T-Mobile's distinguishing feature of weaker coverage, in relation to other major providers.

ISP: T-Mobile

[edit] Verizon and AT&T

umwelt verizon.png

umwelt att.png

Reference to Verizon and AT&T's scandals/controversy regarding implementation of bandwidth caps.

ISP: Verizon and AT&T

[edit] France

umwelt france.jpg

A Google search of "French Military Victories" + 'I'm feeling lucky' used to direct to "did you mean: french military defeats" (due to a Google bomb), referencing a stereotype of the French:[1][2][3]

Locations: France & Quebec

[edit] Germany

umwelt germany.png

This comic references the Berlin Airlift, a relief measure for citizens in West Berlin (surrounded by East Germany) instituted by the Western Allies after World War II. In reality, the Western Allies flew a grand total of 500,000 tons of food over the Soviet blockade in planes. Randall puts a twist on this event by making it more fun: dropping supplies from a grand chairlift. The play on words is that "chairlift" rhymes with "airlift" and thus makes an easy substitution. The chair force is also a name that other service branches use to make fun of the air force.

Location: Germany

[edit] Israel

umwelt israel.png

(Translation from Hebrew)

Person: Mom, I met a great guy! But he's not Jewish. ...Wait, what do you mean "neither are we"? I'm completely confused.

A reference to the multiple use of the word Jewish to denote both a religious group and a nationality.

Location: Israel

[edit] Carnot Cycle

umwelt japan.png

A pun on "cycle"; a "Carnot cycle" is a thermodynamic cycle (e.g. refrigeration). Its efficiency depends on the temperature of the hot and cold 'reservoirs' in which it is operating.

Location: Japan

[edit] UK

umwelt uk.jpg

He worded this as though to imply that the UK is a state of the U.S., and an unimportant one at that, which pokes fun at the UK, creating a paradox (sort of).

Location: UK

[edit] Blizzard

umwelt disasters blizzard.png

This comic is aimed at the debate over whether earthquakes or blizzards are harsher conditions to live under.

For each location this displayed in, the state name was substituted in the third panel.

Locations: Alabama, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Georgia, Halifax, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, the Northeast, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ottawa, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Texas, Toronto, Tennessee, New York, Wisconsin

[edit] Tornado

umwelt disasters tornado.png

This comic is aimed at the debate over whether earthquakes or tornadoes are harsher conditions to live under.

For each location this displayed in the state name was substituted in the third panel.

Locations: Alabama, Dallas, Illinois, Georgia, The Midwest, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ottawa, Tennessee, Texas

[edit] Hurricane

umwelt disasters hurricane.png

This comic is aimed at the debate over whether earthquakes or hurricanes are harsher conditions to live under.

For each location this displayed in the state name was substituted in the third panel.

Locations: D.C, Florida, Houston, Miami, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virgina

[edit] Lake Diver Killer

umwelt lake diver.png

This comic shows a news reporter standing in front of a lake. She is reporting on a serial killer who targets divers. As more divers are sent in to investigate and/or search for bodies, more divers go missing and are presumably murdered.

Locations: Bay Areas

Location: Vermont showed an image specifically referencing Lake Champlain

[edit] Lincoln Memorial

umwelt lincoln memorial.png

Locations: Illinois & Washington D.C.

[edit] Helicopter Hunting

umwelt helicoptor.png

In Alaska, governments and individuals have shot wolves en masse from helicopters in an attempt to artificially inflate populations of game, such as moose and caribou, to make hunting them easier. This is opposed by many, as the game populations are not endangered (thus, this threatens ecological balance); wolves are a small threat to livestock in North America; most of the wolf body —including meat and bones— goes wasted as they are sought mainly for their pelts.

Location: Alaska

[edit] Newspaper

umwelt life scientists.pngumwelt life rit.pngumwelt life umass.png

Creating new life has long been a well understood process, in a lab or otherwise.

Location: Various

Specific versions appeared for RIT and UMass Amherst

[edit] Robot Paul Revere

umwelt paul revere.png

Combination of the legend of Paul Revere and computer binary.

Location: Boston

[edit] Counting Cards

All four colleges in this series are in Massachusetts and, being similar, in pairs, rival each other to some extent (Harvard-MIT, and Smith-Wellesley). The comic contains a reference to the MIT Blackjack Team, which entered popular culture via the film 21, and a possible reference to Orwell's book '1984' and/or popular homage to it via Star Trek: "There are four lights."[4]

Bonus: The thought-gears in panel 3 are spinning against each other.

Location: Harvard

umwelt counting cards harvard.png

Location: MIT

umwelt counting cards mit.png

"Course 15s" at MIT are the business major students, often mocked for taking a less-rigorous program.

Location: Smith

umwelt counting cards smith.png

Location: Wellesley

umwelt counting cards wellesley.png

Wellesley is an all-girls college.

[edit] Giant Box Trap

umwelt box trap.png

Randall got his undergrad in Physics at the Christopher Newport University, and was scheduled to return shortly to give a talk.

Location: Christopher Newport University

[edit] Chemo Support

umwelt chemo.jpg

Randall's now-wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, and apparently DFCI is where they've been spending much of their time.

Location: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

[edit] Reviews

reviews.png

The previous strip appears twice when using TOR.

Browser: Any using TOR, and reports of seeing it on a Kindle Fire HD

[edit] Transcript

[Note to courageous readers- The transcript has been reordered in the order in which the comics appear in the picture and appropriate names have been given.]
The Void
[An epic void with a bright light shining right on you.]
Aurora
[Cueball heading out past Megan comfortably sitting in front of a desk.]
Cueball: Apparently there's a solar flare that's causing some Great Aurorae. CBC says they may even be visible here! Wanna drive out to see?
Megan: Hockey's on.
Cueball: Ok. Later.
[An expansive, marvelous image of emerald green northern lights, floating down through the sky.]
Megan: See anything?
Cueball: No, just clouds.
Megan: Not surprised.
Aurora-US
[Cueball heading out past Megan comfortably sitting in front of a desk.]
Cueball: Apparently there's a solar storm causing northern lights over Canada. CNN say they might even be visible {Options: "As Far South As Us", "Here in Boston", "Maine", "Ohio", "Oregon", "New York"}! Wanna drive out to see?
Megan: It's cold out.
Cueball: Ok. Later.
[An expansive, marvelous image of emerald green northern lights, floating down through the sky.]
Megan: See anything?
Cueball: No, just clouds.
Megan: Not surprised.
Snake
[Two people standing next to each other. Megan is holding the head end of a snake. Depending on the width of your browser, the snake is: three frames, the third of which has a little bit of a bump; the first frame has a human-size bump, the second has a third person looking at the snake, and the third has the snake going though two Portals; a squirrel and the human-size bump in the first frame, a ring next to the third person in the second frame, and Beret Guy riding the snake in front of the portal; or The squirrel, a fourth person within the snake being coiled, and the human bump in the first frame, the ring, a fifth person in love, and the third person in the second frame, Beret Guy and the portal in the third frame, and the same two people in the fourth frame.]
Megan: I found a snake, but then I forgot to stop.
Black hat
[Two people sitting at a desk. One is Black Hat. The other is an analyst. Black Hat has a number of terminals attached to his head.]
Analyst: You come across a tortoise in the desert. You flip it over. It struggles to right itself. You watch. You're not helping. Why is that?
Black Hat: It knows what it did.
[View of the entire scene, with said turtle off in the distance on its back and trying to right itself.]
Too quiet
[A group of four scale down a wall into a field in the middle of the night. They walk off single-file.]
Person 1: It's quiet.
Person 3: Yeah - *Too* quiet.
[A Velociraptor is off in the distance, following the group.]
Person 4: Yeah - too *too* quiet.
Person 2: Yeah - 2quiet2furious.
Person 1: Fuck off, Steve.
Pond
[A landscape showing a pond, some reeds, and a set of mountains off in the distance.]
Galaxies
[A trio of galaxies.]
Galaxy 1: He's not looking!
Galaxy 3: Let's get him!
[Lines draw in illustrating the eye-line of one of a pair of people.]
Cueball: So he said he didn't get the text, but c'mon, he *never* misses texts. Right? ..hello?
Megan: I'm just staring at your head freaked out by the fact that there are millions of galaxies *directly behind it*.
xkcd Gold
[Cueball holding bat.]
Cueball: Sorry, but this comic
[Cueball starts to wind up.]
Cueball: requires
[Cueball prepares to strike with bat.]
Cueball: XKCD
[Cueball swings at a beehive.]
GOLD
[Penis Bees fly out of the beehive.]
Yo mamma
[Cueball yells at a friend.]
Cueball: Oh yeah? Well you mama's so cynical, her only dog ballast is a leash!
(This comic takes place in a dystopian future where the government is afraid dogs can hover, so it requires them to wear weights at all times, and some people privately doubt the government, but not enough to stop buying dog weights.)
Reddit
Five seconds ago:
[You sitting in front of a desk, reading a reddit thread.]
You: Oh, hey, reddit has a link to some XKCD april fools comic.
Now: [An image of the xkcd comic page.]
Five seconds from now:
You: ..hey
30 seconds from now:
[DANCE PARTY!]
Buns and Hot dogs
Cueball: What I wanna know is why do hot dogs come in packages of six while buns come in these huge sacks of ash and blood from which "Ave Maria" is faintly audible?
[Chanting sacks of gore in the background.]
Twitter
[A Twitter account page with the following: Many tweets, fewer following, even fewer followers, A bunch of assholes in the suggested follow box, trending topics partitioned into: Word Games, Misogyny, and Bieber, stuff your eyes automatically ignore, A really pleasant blue. and the timeline: Something about a podcast, Someone confused because the description doesn't match the link, The link you clicked on to get to this comic, Rob Delaney, Passive Aggression, and horse ebooks.]
Wikipedia
[There's no comic here because instead of drawing one, I spent the last hour reading every news story cited in the Wikipedia article on The Mile High Club.]
Google Chrome
[A Chrome plugin error page.]
Chrome: This plugin requires Sergey Brin's permission to run. Please wait while he is woken.
Chrome/Firefox
[Two people; Cueball is sitting at a desk in front of a laptop.]
Cueball: Man, chrome's hardware acceleration really sucks.
Ponytail: Oh - Theres' a great add-on that fixes it.
Cueball: Oh? What's it called?
Ponytail: "Firefox".
Google Chrome-2
[A Chrome plugin error page with the characteristic jigsaw piece.]
Chrome: Chrome is looking for this piece. Have you seen it? Chrome thinks it links up with a corner.
Mozilla Firefox Private Browsing
[Firefox error page.]
Firefox: Well, this is embarrassing. You know how I'm not supposed to peek at your browsing in private mode? Firefox.. is sorry. Firefox will not blame you if you
[Button with text.]
Click here to report this incident.
Internet Explorer
[IE error page.]
IE: Error: Internet Explorer has given up.
Maxthon
Cueball: Maxthon? Hey, 2005 called. Didn't say anything. All I could hear was sobbing. This is getting harder. Anyway, yeah, Maxthon's still cool! Didn't know it was still around!
Netscape Navigator
[Two different versions exist: one with Cueball talking and one with Megan with tentacle arms talking.]
Person: Netscape Navigator? Hey, the nineties called - drunk as usual. I hung up without saying anything. This is getting harder. Anyway - it's cool that you'e got netscape running.
Rockmelt
[Cueball running to laptop.]
I ran to Rockmelt to hide my face
[Cueball sitting at laptop.]
But Rockmelt cried out -
[Laptop shouting.]
NO HIDING PLACE
[zoom out.]
NO HIDING PLACE DOWN HERE
Google Chrome-3
[A chrome plugin error page.]
Chrome: There does not exist --nor could there ever exist-- a plugin capable of displaying this content.
Microsoft/Amazon/The Times/Google - Chrome
[Chrome error page.]
Chrome: This plugin requires clearance from the corporate press office in order to run. Remember, Microsoft/Amazon/The Times/Google is a team; individual employees should never speak for the company without authorization.
Microsoft/Amazon - Firefox
[Firefox error page.]
Error: This plugin requires clearance from the corporate press office in order to run. Remember, Microsoft/Amazon is a team; individual employees should never speak for the company without authorization.
Microsoft/The Times
[Error page.]
Error: This plugin requires clearance from the corporate press office in order to run. Remember, Microsoft/The Times is a team; individual employees should never speak for the company without authorization.
Corporate - Generic
[Error page.]
Error: This plugin requires clearance from the corporate press office in order to run. Remember, we work as a team; individual employees should never speak for the company without authorization.
Military
[Person looking at two browser windows.]
Cueball: I know y'all know what you're doing. But if you're on a military machine and you're supposed to be watching for missiles or something, I hope you're keeping an eye on that in the background while you're reading comics. Also: Thanks.
T-Mobile
[Error page.]
Data Error: T-Mobile was unable to establish a connection
Verizon
[Error page]
Error: You have exceeded your Verizon monthly bandwidth cap. Mobile web browsing has been disabled.
France
[Two people; one of which is browsing using a laptop.]
Cueball: Hey, you're French, right? Ever see what happens when you type "French Military Victories" into Google?
French person: Does it take you to an article on Napoleon?
French person: ..no? Strange, given how he kicked everyone's asses up and down Europe for over a decade.
[Beat frame.]
Cueball: Touche.
French person: You know, that'd sound smarter if you didn't pronounce it like it rhymes with "douche".
Germany
[Cueball dropping food from an unorthodox high perch.]
June 1948: In response to the Soviet blockade of East Germany, the western allies construct the Berlin Chairlift.
Cueball on chairlift: Food!
Israel
[Person on phone.]
Person (Translation from Hebrew): Mom, I met a great guy! But he's not Jewish. ...Wait, what do you mean "neither are we"? I'm completely confused.
Carnot Cycle
[Ponytail on a motorcycle with a heat-entropy graph on the side.]
Ponytail: Check out my new Carnot Cycle!
Cueball: Neat - how fast does it go?
Ponytail: Depends how cold it is outside.
Great Britain
[Illustration of the Atlantic ocean.]
American person: Sorry I don't have a comic poking fun at the UK here. I only had time to get to the most important US states.
British person: Hey - At least we have free health care and real ale.
Earthquake-Blizzard
[Two people sitting at a desk, facing each other. The desk rattles.]
Cueball: Stop jiggling your leg.
Danish: I'm not ji-.. oh!
Cueball: What!
Danish: You'll get it..
[EVERYTHING RUMBLES.]
Cueball: ..HOLY CRAP IT'S AN EARTHQUAKE!
Danish: Just a little one. Happens all the time back in San Francisco.
Cueball: But this is {Options: "Alabama", "Boston", "Chicago", "Dallas", "Georgia", "Halifax", "Illinois", "Michigan", "Minnesota", "Missouri", "the Northeast", "Ohio", "Oklahoma", "Ottawa", 'Pennsylvania", "Philadelphia", "Texas", "Toronto", "Tennessee", "New York", "Wisconsin"}! That was huge!
Danish: Seriously? That's the worst this place can do? Wow. I guess we grow up tougher in California.
Cueball: Oh really...
Six Months Later..
[Both people are trudging through a massive blizzard.]
Danish: In pictures, snow always looked so nice and sof - AAAA! MY NECK! How do people live here?!
Cueball: Come on - it's only three more miles.
Earthquake-Tornado
[Two people sitting at a desk, facing each other. The desk rattles.]
Cueball: Stop jiggling your leg.
Danish: I'm not ji-.. oh!
Cueball: What!
Danish: You'll get it..
[EVERYTHING RUMBLES.]
Cueball: ..HOLY CRAP IT'S AN EARTHQUAKE!
Danish: Just a little one. Happens all the time back in San Francisco.
Cueball: But this is {Options: "Alabama", "Dallas", "Illinois", "The Midwest", "Missouri", "Ohio", "Oklahoma", "Ottawa", "Tennessee", "Texas"}!
Cueball: That was huge!
Danish: Seriously? That's the worst this place can do? Wow. I guess we grow up tougher in California.
Cueball: Oh really...
Six Months Later..
[Both people are in a shelter in a prairie with a rapidly-approaching tornado.]
Danish: AAAA CLOSE THE SHELTER DOOR!
Cueball: Say the magic words...
Danish: THIS PLACE IS THE WORST!
Cueball: Thank you.
Earthquake-Hurricane
[Two people sitting at a desk, facing each other. The desk rattles.]
Cueball: Stop jiggling your leg.
Danish: I'm not ji-.. oh!
Cueball: What!
Danish: You'll get it..
[EVERYTHING RUMBLES.]
Cueball: ..HOLY CRAP IT'S AN EARTHQUAKE!
Danish: Just a little one. Happens all the time back in San Francisco.
Cueball: But this is {Options: "D.C", "Florida", "Houston", "Miami", "New Jersey", "North Carolina", "South Carolina", "Virgina"}! That was huge!
Cueball: That was huge!
Danish: Seriously? That's the worst this place can do? Wow. I guess we grow up tougher in California.
Cueball: Oh really...
Six Months Later..
[Both are in the middle of a hurricane. Danish is grabbing onto a signpost to avoid being swept away.]
Danish: AAAAA WHAT THE SHIIIIT!
Cueball: Calm down - this is barely a category 2.
Lake Diver Killer
[TV Field Reporter in front of a cordoned-off lake.]
Reporter: Police divers searching the bay say they have recovered the body of another victim of the "Lake Diver Killer."
Reporter: During the search, three more divers were reported missing.
Washington
[The statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial.]
In this Marble Prison As in the nightmares of the nation they tried to devour
The nanobots that constituted Abraham Lincoln
Are entombed forever.
Alaska
[A person with a gun chasing a helicopter on the back of a wolf in a snowy Alaskan field.]
Some people hunt wolves from helicopters. I hunt helicopters from a wolf.
Life in lab
[Newspaper headline.]
Scientists/UMass Amherst students/RIT students create life in lab
[Caption under picture of scientists.]
"The trick was fuckin'"
American Revolution
Robot Paul Revere: Remember: Zero if by land, One if by sea.
MIT
[Two people in front of a group of students.]
Cueball: I've hired a team of MIT students to count cards for us.
Hairy: We'll be rich!
[Hairy deals some cards while the students watch.]
[The gears turn..]
Student: Five. There are five cards.
Cueball: I see their admission standards have been slipping.
Hairy: Yeah - there are actually four.
MIT Course 15c
[Two people in front of a group of students.]
Cueball: I've hired a team of MIT students to count cards for us.
Hairy: We'll be rich!
[Hairy deals some cards while the students watch.]
[The gears turn..]
Student: Five. There are five cards.
Cueball: I *knew* we shouldn't have picked course 15s.
Hairy: Yeah - there are actually four.
Smith/Wellesley
[Two people in front of a group of students.]
Cueball: I've hired a team of Smith/Wellesley students to count cards for us.
Hairy: We'll be rich!
[Hairy deals some cards while the students watch.]
[The gears turn..]
Student: Five. There are five cards.
Cueball: We should've gone with Wellesley/Smith.
Hairy: Yeah - there are actually four.
CNU
[Person unsuspectingly strolls under a giant box trap controlled by a Trible.]
I worry that CNU only invited me back as a ruse because they realized I never turned in my final paper and want my diploma back. But if it turns out it's for real, I'll see you Wednesday at the Ferguson!
Dana Farber
[Cueball, pointing towards head.]
Cueball: Check it out - In support of people going through chemo, I shaved my head.
Lots of love to everyone reading this at Dana Farber. Cancer sucks. If you are new to DCFI, there's a great little garden on the third floor of the yawkey if you need somewhere quiet to just sit for a little bit and breathe.
Reviews
Shopping before online reviews:
[Cueball and Megan stand in a store. Cueball points at a lamp on the table in front of him. There is another lamp on the table behind them.]
Cueball: This lamp is pretty.
Megan: And affordable.
Cueball: Let's get it.
Megan Ok!
Shopping now:
[Cueball points at a lamp on the table in front of him. Megan looks at her phone.]
Cueball: This lamp is pretty.
Megan: It's got 1 1/2 stars on Amazon. Reviews all say to avoid that brand.
[Cueball and Megan are now both looking at their phones.]
Cueball: This one has good reviews.
Megan: Wait, one guy says when he plugged it in, he got a metallic taste in his mouth and his cats went deaf.
Cueball: Eek. What about- ...no, review points out it resembles a uterus.
[Cueball is still looking at his phone, Megan has hers at her side.]
Cueball: Ok, I found a Swiss lampmaker with perfect reviews. Her lamps start at 1,300 Francs and she's only reachable by ski lift.
Megan: You know, our room looks fine in the dark.

[edit] Trivia

  • Reddit user SomePostMan created a post that collected all of the Umwelt comics and added explanations. Much of his information is now included in this wiki.
  • The transcript section for this comic also included a note alluding to its extreme length:
[ [Two people...] ] ((..wait.. <scrolls through a listing of everything> oh goddammit Randall. Thanks a bunch, dude. I better get a raise for typing out all this))
[Two people standing next to each other. One is holding the head end of a snake...
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Discussion

Normally I understand xkcd. But this one hurts my head. lcarsos (talk) 20:35, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

I sorted all of them out. Phew!!! That was some work. The ones at the end have no appropriate picture in the image part. Atleast the hurricane one should be added. Please do so. TheOriginalSoni (talk) 11:09, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I live in one of Umwelt's "hurricane areas", and that's the one I see. How do we add it? Ekedolphin (talk) 06:06, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

There is a fixed image used if your browser does not support javascript, which is missing. Additionally, the alt text varies at times. Divad27182 (talk) 20:16, 4 October 2012 (UTC)


I can't see any of them neither in Firefox nor in IE :( --Kronf (talk) 11:32, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

This has got to be one of my favourite xkcd's! That amount of ingenuity in one edition! Dean (talk) 22:33, 01 January 2013 (UTC)

There is now also a category page for Jurassic Park, but I'm not sure how to work that into the explanation. Kaa-ching (talk) 09:04, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

I can't resist noting that Chrome is sadly mistaken in thinking that its puzzle piece links up to a corner piece - it would have to be an edge piece to do that. Firefox would never have that kind of issue... Natf (talk)

Supposedly, if there were a puzzle with inner corners, such as one with a plus cut out of it, this could link up as shown. ... I wanna make a puzzle like that now. 99.44.200.140 08:00, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

It would be difficult to compile, but I think this page would benefit from having the conditions along with the image (for instance, "Displays when running Netscape:") 24.41.66.114 03:27, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Hey, um, I think there is an Animaniacs reference. Namely, the question about hot dogs resembles Yakko's question to the Wally Llama except it dealt with packages of eight and packages of ten. (I forget which is which) 71.166.47.84 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)


I came here to seek informartion about how each strip was seen. Disappointed... Especially after seeing there is a hebrew one!?!?!?!? (number 29) Is it real? Because I assume it should be visible from Israel and I can't see it 141.101.99.228 22:26, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Added two location references to the 2Fast2Furious and Snake comics, with browser references. Anyone know why I got those results? 173.245.50.77 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I don't, especially since I live in the UK (not Texas) and yet I see the Snake comic? Enchantedsleeper (talk) 14:14, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

I found a new one, it seems to display when using TOR. Should I add it? 173.245.49.60 02:22, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Yes definitely. Chriswampler (talk) 16:07, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
The Reviews comic just as appearing under TOR is actually comic #1036. Can you confirm that it is actually showing up under Umwelt? Chriswampler (talk) 20:34, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes. I checked like ten times. I just did it again.173.245.53.153 20:40, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Honestly I can't do much explaining. Does anyone get it? 108.162.219.61 20:54, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Has anyone tested the Steam browser, whatever it is, with this comic? 108.162.219.66 18:50, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

I tested the Steam browser and got the "This plugin requires Sergey Brin's permission to run" comic, same as when I use Chrome.RobotSnake (talk) 18:16, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

That is because the Steam browser is WebKit/Chromium-based. (Now you know something!)173.245.50.88 03:34, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

For the Google Chrome one with Sergey Brin, it reminds me a bit like how German tanks were unable to be moved on D-Day because Hitler, whose order was needed to move them, slept through the first five hours of the batter. It's the same theme of failure due to having only one person able to give permission, and that person being asleep.173.245.54.188 14:53, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

I get Pond on both my laptop (Firefox) and iPhone 3. I live in North Holland. Hope it helps, ask some other Dutch people about it for affirmation. On Opera, I get the turtle one. I should also note that if I make my browser window smaller, the right part of it is cut off. This page is clearly incomplete... -Maplestrip

...Uhm, have you guys ever tried looking at this page in Lynx? Because, seriously, this is amazing. It's basically this entire page. The start in particular is hilarious: "two people... <<..wait.. <scrolls through a listing of everything> oh goddammit Randall. Thanks a bunch, dude. I better get a raise for typing out all of this>> [[Two people standing next to eachother..." Reading some of this, is this where you got all the transcripts for these comics from? -Maplestrip

In Ireland I get no comic strip loading at all! Just nothing in between the direction buttons, on Chrome or Safari! :/ 173.245.53.215 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
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