1037: Umwelt

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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.


This was the third April fools' comic released by Randall. The previous fools comic was 880: Headache from Friday April 1st 2011. The next was 1193: Externalities released on Monday April 1st 2013.

An Umwelt, as the title text explains, is the idea that one's 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. (The term 'Umwelt,' as mentioned in the comic, refers to the semiotic theories of Jakob von Uexküll and Thomas A. Sebeok)

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

The Void[edit]

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 (https://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


umwelt aurora.png

One could interpret that since Megan didn't go out and therefore missed seeing the Aurora (northern lights), Cueball in his knit cap lied about it. That way, she wouldn't have felt sad that she missed out. Another interpretation could be that he decides that since she did not even bother to go outside to see such a spectacular sight he will not tell her about it. And yet another could be that he did not think it was interesting.

Cueball could possibly also be red-green colorblind, seeing the green aurorae as grey "clouds". This would serve as an example for the theme of the comic, as a non-colorblind person and a colorblind person seeing the same color would perceive it differently, one seeing it as its true color, and the other seeing it without the shade of color they cannot see. If this is the case, then it would be a reference to umwelt, as Cueball would be living in a world where the auroras do not reach his location.

In real life, aurorae are usually seen as grey/white clouds to the naked eye, as our eyes cannot perceive the "greener" colors as well in the dark.

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

Locations: Canada, Boston, Indiana, Maine, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Minnesota, Norway, Denmark, France, Ireland, Rhode Island, Mississippi, Seoul (Safari), London (on Firefox), China (on Firefox and Safari). Also in Virginia, but using Ohio in the first panel; in Wisconsin and Maryland, but using Canada in the first panel; in Marion, Illinois, but using Canada in the first panel along with the phrase "as far south as us" in the first panel, and in Utah, also using the phrase "as far south as us", same with Colombia, Spain, Georgia, Florida and California.

In 1302: Year in Review a possibly different Megan has a completely different approach to the chance of seeing northern lights, as that was the only event she was looking forward to in 2013, and it failed. If this is the same Megan, perhaps she learned that there actually were northern lights in her area from another source, and so desperately wanted to have another chance to see them.


umwelt snake composite 1024.png Full size

The joke here is the extreme length of snakes. The world's longest living snake is the reticulated python, the longest ever measuring over 22 feet (6.95 meters). The blue and orange circles refer to the hit game Portal. There is also a reference to the book "The Little Prince" in the second panel, where there is a large bulge in the snake that looks like an elephant. The Little Prince starts out by mentioning a drawing that the author made when he was six that showed an elephant inside a snake.

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, California (on Chrome Version 39.0.2171.95), Maryland, Massachusetts (Safari for iOS, Chrome version 49.0.2623.112), Connecticut (Safari for iOS, Chrome Version 73.0.3683.103, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge), Virginia (on Chrome), Michigan (Firefox v46.0.1), Penang (Chrome Version 65.0.3325.162), London (Microsoft Edge), Germany (on Opera One (version: 106.0.4998.70)), Fruita, Colorado (on Chrome for Android version 123.0.6312.80), China (Chrome and Edge).

Black Hat[edit]

umwelt tortoise 1024.png Full size

Cueball as an analyst attempts to psychoanalyze Black Hat's classhole tendencies. Cueball's quote and the whole setup is a direct reference to the movie Blade Runner (1982) and Black Hat is taking the Voight-Kampff test which is used to identify replicants from real humans.

Black Hat's reason for not helping the tortoise is that it knows what it did and thus in Black Hat's world view it deserves being turned over. The final part of the joke is that when zooming out it turns out that there is a tortoise behind Black Hat and he has actually already turned it over for what it did.

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

Too Quiet[edit]

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, iPhone 5 Chrome Browser in Minnesota, long version - Google Chrome browser in Indiana, Windows 8 Laptop


umwelt pond mobile.pngumwelt pond wide.png

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

Location: The Netherlands and various other countries.


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

xkcd Gold[edit]

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

Yo Mama[edit]

umwelt dog ballast.png

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

The joke is that people's different experiences shape how they perceive the world in that the people who live in this world would perceive the joke as funny, while people in our world would not get it. This is the idea of umwelt mentioned at the top of the context where different individuals perceive the world differently.

Refer: Facebook


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 688: Self-Description where the second panel embeds the entire comic within itself. (Except, conspicuously, the arrow indicating that it is "You" in the first panel.)

One of the browser tabs visible in the center panel is Elk on Wikipedia.

Referrer: Reddit

Buns and Hot dogs[edit]

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?"

Another, more sexual reference to this question can be found in 1641: Hot Dogs.

Referrer: SomethingAwful, Questionable Content, & MetaFilter


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 color, which is "a really pleasant blue".

"Aggression" is misspelled.

Referrer: Twitter


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 had 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 shown, the narrower version (the single panel with all the text) for mobile devices.

Referrer: Wikipedia

Google Chrome[edit]

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


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 and iOS, 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

Google Chrome-2[edit]

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. When completing jigsaw puzzles, a common strategy is to figure out where the pieces must be from their geometry rather than from the picture they create. In this case, the text suggests that Chrome believes the puzzle piece connects to the pieces which form one of the corners of the puzzle, which may seem impossible because any piece that links up to a corner would usually have at least one flat edge, which this piece has none. However, more complicated puzzles have complex shapes and are not always simply approximate squares with tabs and blanks.

Browser: Chrome or silk on desktop view

Mozilla Firefox Private Browsing[edit]

umwelt firefox incognito.png

Another reference to crashing web browsers. Firefox shows the history when it crashes. Browser: Firefox (Incognito only?)

Internet Explorer[edit]

umwelt ie.png

This is yet another reference to crashing web browsers but instead, Internet Explorer has given up. It could be because there are too many sessions, they are shutting it down, or maybe it was too lazy to do anything.

Browser: Internet Explorer


umwelt maxthon.png

Browser: Maxthon

Netscape Navigator[edit]

umwelt netscape womanoctopus.png

umwelt netscape man.png

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

Browser: Netscape


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

Plugin Disabled[edit]

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, Safari Desktop

Corporate Networks[edit]

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


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


umwelt tmobile.png

Reference to T-Mobile's distinguishing feature (at the time it was written) of weaker coverage, in relation to other major providers.

ISP: T-Mobile

Verizon and AT&T[edit]

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


umwelt france.jpg

A common joke about France is that the nation does not win wars. This originated from France's annexation by Germany during World War II, and America's late entry into the war, which is sometimes portrayed humorously as a case of America 'saving' Europe, in this joke particularly France (the role of the French resistance is usually not mentioned), leading to a common American joke at the expense of France's military prowess [1][2][3]. When France did not form part of the coalition that invaded Iraq in 2003, aligning with the many countries that condemned U.S. action, the joke was revived.

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). Cueball is trying to show this to his friend, who is French. However, his joke backfires, as his friend immediately points out that the stereotype of France not having military victories is undercut by the fact that one of the most innovative military commanders in history, Napoleon, was French by citizenship (though Italian/Corsican by culture, as the French annexed Corsica a few months before his birth to an Italian noble family), and in fact conquered much of Europe.

Following the theme of umwelt, the comic highlights the two characters' differing perspectives: The American thinks that France is a military failure, while the Frenchman thinks of Napoleon.

The last line of the comic further implies that Cueball is not as smart as he thinks he is in regards to anything French, as he mispronounces the French loan word "touché".

Locations: France & Quebec


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


umwelt israel.png

Translation: 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/ethnicity, as well as the stereotype of Jews holding low opinions of interfaith marriage.

A side note: Randall accidentally drew an apostrophe instead of the similar-looking Hebrew letter י everywhere that letter should appear.

Location: Israel

Carnot Cycle[edit]

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. The icon on the side of the motorcycle resembles a graph of the Carnot cycle.

Location: Japan


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


umwelt disasters blizzard.png

This comic is aimed at the debate over whether earthquakes or blizzards are harsher conditions to live under. In keeping with the theme of umwelt, the comic demonstrates that the two people perceive the world in two different ways due to their different experiences: The Californian perceives a mild earthquake and a severe blizzard, while the Northeasterner perceives a severe earthquake and a mild blizzard.

For each particular location in which this displayed, 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


umwelt disasters tornado.png

This comic is aimed at the debate over whether earthquakes or tornadoes are harsher conditions to live under. In keeping with the theme of umwelt, the comic demonstrates that the two people perceive the world in two different ways due to their different experiences: The Californian perceives a mild earthquake and a severe tornado, while the Midwesterner perceives a severe earthquake and a mild tornado. It's similar to Blizzard.

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

Locations: Alabama, Dallas, Illinois, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ottawa, Tennessee, Texas (and Virginia, but it used Ohio in the third panel)

Tornadoes are a recurring subject on xkcd. The picture used in 1754: Tornado Safety Tips very reminiscent of the one from this version of Umwelt.


umwelt disasters hurricane.png

This comic is aimed at the debate over whether earthquakes or hurricanes are harsher conditions to live under. In keeping with the theme of umwelt, the comic demonstrates that the two people perceive the world in two different ways due to their different experiences: The Californian perceives a mild earthquake and a severe hurricane, while the Easterner perceives a severe earthquake and a mild hurricane. It's similar to Blizzard and Tornado.

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

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

Lake Diver Killer[edit]

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, the implication being that they were also murdered. The more likely reason is the lake itself is dangerous for diving, and the divers probably drowned from natural hazards (undercurrents, entanglement, running out of oxygen in tanks, etc.) instead of a malicious assailant. Also, this is a sort of loop, where each time a diver gets killed, the investigative team goes and investigates, causing more divers to get killed, causing more deaths, and so on.

Location: Bay Areas, Metro Detroit, Vermont showed an image specifically referencing Lake Champlain

Lincoln Memorial[edit]

umwelt lincoln memorial.png

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States of America, was not an entity composed wholly of nanobots that attempted to consume the entire nation to then be imprisoned within the Lincoln Memorial.[citation needed] The inscription references the epitaph at the actual Lincoln Memorial, which reads "In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever".

Locations: Illinois & Washington, D.C.

Helicopter Hunting[edit]

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.

Knowledge of this issue was popularized by press around vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's infamous support for this culling method.

Location: Alaska


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.

This comic is likely a reference to the title text of 983: Privacy

Location: Various

Specific versions appeared for RIT and UMass Amherst

Robot Paul Revere[edit]

umwelt paul revere.png

Combination of the legend of Paul Revere and a computer bit that differentiates between two situations by indicating a zero or a one.

Location: Boston

Counting Cards[edit]

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. The different interpretation for why the MIT students could not count cards compared to Harvard may be a reference to the theme of umwelt.

Location: Smith

umwelt counting cards smith.png

Location: Wellesley

umwelt counting cards wellesley.png

Both Wellesley and Smith are all-women colleges in Massachusetts.

Giant Box Trap[edit]

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. The "Trible" figure on the right is Paul Trible, the then-president of CNU. This comic depicts a classic trap, where an upside-down box is propped up with a stick. When the stick is removed, by pulling a string, the box falls and traps whatever is underneath it. Aside from the joke of the obvious trap, there's also the fact that the president would not be responsible for revoking unearned diplomas.

Location: Christopher Newport University

Chemo Support[edit]

umwelt chemo.jpg

Cueball has shaved his head in support of people going through chemotherapy but, as he is always depicted as a stick figure with no hair, no one can tell.

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



The previous strip appears twice when using Tor.

This strip was previously used in 1036: Reviews.

Browser: Any using Tor, xkcd API (JSON, RSS, Atom), w3m and reports of seeing it on a Kindle Fire HD; also happens if visiting with a browser that does not support JavaScript (such as Firefox with NoScript)


Umwelt blank.jpg

In some cases, the comic can be completely absent, with only the top and bottom buttons visible. On most newer browsers, this is caused by a script loading part of the comic via a HTTP request while the rest of the webpage is delivered over HTTPS. This is referred to as mixed content and is blocked on modern browsers by default due to security concerns. This version of the comic is therefore likely not an intended outcome, but rather an unintended consequence of how this comic was implemented. It has been confirmed that this was not intentional and will be fixed. Since this comic's release, all devices viewing it have returned two rows of navigation buttons if near IP address

The http(s) issue seems to have been fixed.


[This section only covers the first three comics. For the transcript of the entire comic, go to the full transcript page.]

The Void[edit]

[An epic void with a bright light shining right on you.]


[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.


[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.


[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.
[For the transcript of the entire comic, go to the full transcript page.]


  • The 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.
  • At the start of the official transcript of this comic, the writer added 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))
  • This comic was released on April 1 even though that was a Sunday (only the third comic to be released on a Sunday). But it was only due to the April Fools' joke, as it did replace the comic that would have been scheduled for Monday, April 2nd. The next comic, 1038: Fountain, was first released on Wednesday, April 4th. This was the first that could be different for different readers.
  • This comic displays the previous comic, Reviews (1036), when you try to view it on uni.xkcd.com.

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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) 13:15, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

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. 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:") 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) (talk) 23:46, 8 October 2013 (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 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? (talk) 02:57, 28 March 2014 (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? 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. 20:40, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Honestly I can't do much explaining. Does anyone get it? 20:54, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
For me, using TOR, it displayed the full Aurora comic. Zorlax the Mighty'); DROP TABLE users;-- (talk) 17:50, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

Has anyone tested the Steam browser, whatever it is, with this comic? 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!) 03:34, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

For the Yahoo 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. 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 Maplestrip (talk) 21:58+, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

...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 Maplestrip (talk) 22:10, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

In Ireland I get no comic strip loading at all! Just nothing in between the direction buttons, on Chrome or Safari! :/ (talk) 18:41, 13 November 2014 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Just something I feel should be added to the "Blizzard" comic: it seems to also change the distance measurement (magnitude and system), in the last panel, depending on your location; for instance, the final panel refers to them only having six more kilometres to travel for me: fitting given that I'm located in central Ontario. 02:23, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

I'm in Georgia but I still got the Hurricane image. 14:12, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

I have the "Reviews" one. With Firefox/Linux without referer and without javascript, from France. With javascript I don't have any comic. Edit : I checked, it's because I have the "Reviews" one but inside a <noscript> tag, so it doesn't display when javascript is activated. Seipas (talk) 14:20, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

And now we need Randall to make an Umwelt page for Microsoft Edge. 02:06, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

Note of interest: Windows 10, Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta, GA. Currently receiving "The Void" on both Chrome and Microsoft Edge unless Javascript is disabled. When disabled, "Reviews" is shown instead. Also: Chrome on HTC One M8 shows "Corporate Networks" with yellow triangle and Google - a combination which incidentally does not seem to be on this page. Jimmy C (talk) 05:11, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I'm on Windows 10 in NJ and I'm getting "Snake" instead of "Hurricane" on Opera, Chrome, Edge and Maxthon. Has this happened to other NJ users, or is "Hurricane" in only some parts on New Jersey? Maybe it's because it's on Windows 10. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I'm in Idaho using Firefox, and I get Reviews whenever I go to this comic. 18:41, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

Should I add to the article that I'm seeing "Snake" on Chrome version 49.0.2623.112 on Windows 8 in Massachusetts? -- 00:13, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

I posted that comment before I had an account. Now that I'm looking back at this article a year later, I've gone ahead and done it. —CsBlastoise (talk) 22:28, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

I got a variant of the snake one in Ohio using Windows 7 and Google Chrome Version 49.0.2623.112 m. As of now, it should only be visible in "Texas (on Chrome Version 33.0.1750.154 m), New Jersey, California (on Chrome Version 39.0.2171.95), Maryland, Massachusetts (Safari for iOS), Connecticut (Safari for iOS)."Bbrk24 (talk) 16:35, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

I'm getting Plugin Disabled in Safari, Firefox, Safari mobile, Chrome mobile, and the Google app. The only anomaly is Chrome desktop, where I'm getting Tornado (located in "the Midwest"), and I'm all out of browsers. 21:37, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

I get the review strip when sharing http://xkcd.com/1037/ on FB, and the full aurora strip using chrome on my android t-mobile phone 17:55, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

I'm in Virginia, but when i look at umwelt in firefox, it gives me the tornado, whith ohio in the third panel, and on chrome, it does aurora, still saying ohio. (talk) 11:38, 22 October 2016 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I looked at it in Firefox, and the alt text changed from saying "web browser" to "browser window size" Should we add that? 18:11, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

I can see the Hurricane comic and I'm in California. Anyone else getting it from a place not mentioned in the article? 04:33, 14 December 2018 (UTC)

I live in New York, but I get the snake comic for some reason. 18:41, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

I'm surprised nobody mentioned yet that "Umwelt" is the German word for "environment" - both in the sense of "someone's surroundings" as well as in the sense of "nature/ecology". Dermaniac (talk) 13:38, 7 June 2022 (UTC)

For the Israel comic, it's not just that interfaith marriage is culturally frowned upon, Israel in fact does not legally recognise interfaith marriages. 11:30, 12 August 2022 (UTC)

Strange, im seeing the aurora one, but im in NC... Ilios2357 (talk) 21:37, 4 March 2024 (UTC)

Comic Might Now be Broken?[edit]

For some reason, this comic does not seem to be working now. It doesn't work on Chrome version 57.0.2987.133 on Windows 8 in Massachusetts, even though it worked a year ago on the very same computer with version 49.0.2623.112 of Chrome in the same location (showing "Snake" then); I tried it on Internet Explorer on the same computer (only because it's the only other browser I have on it), and it didn't work there either; my brother grudgingly agreed to try it on Firefox on his Ubuntu 14.04 machine (in the same room), and we got the same result.

No, I'm not talking about the void; here, there is absolutely no image at all. It seems to be the same as the experience that an anonymous user posted above about two and a half years ago:

In Ireland I get no comic strip loading at all! Just nothing in between the direction buttons, on Chrome or Safari! :/ 18:41, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
(Comment was actually unsigned; contributor and timestamp are implied by {{unsigned ip}} template and edit history, respectively)

Now, every time I tried on my computer, the browser said that the page was trying to load unsafe scripts. Maybe this is somehow linked to the fact that within the past few months, Randall (or more likely Davean) made all xkcd links secure (https://), and the now secure nature of the page could be blocking the location- and browser-sensing scripts in the comic itself. However, the comic still didn't work when I opted to "Load Unsafe Scripts", so maybe it isn't that simple.

Also, it might be helpful to note that Seipas posted on here that he was having an issue that is probably quite similar to this one:

I have the "Reviews" one. With Firefox/Linux without referer and without javascript, from France. With javascript I don't have any comic. Edit : I checked, it's because I have the "Reviews" one but inside a <noscript> tag, so it doesn't display when javascript is activated. Seipas (talk) 14:20, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

Anyway, with all that said, is there anyone else who is having this issue and/or knows what might be causing it?

CsBlastoise (talk) 23:48, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

It has to do with the browser getting scared off by "mixed active content." Mozilla's developers discuss it in more detail here: [5]. In Firefox at least, there's a config change you can make (security.mixed_content.block_active_content) to override this and get the comic to display. (Well, kind of. I'm still getting "The Void," but I'm working on it.) Other browsers can probably be reconfigured likewise, though you should remember to change back when you're done to avoid security problems.. 03:28, 27 November 2017 (UTC)

when using chromium on ubuntu 16.04 32 bit (yeah yeah yeah) I get no comic loaded, there is no element present. --> http://i.imgur.com/KZwpN8y.png have fun all. -[anon]

I live in Florida and I had the "Lake Diver Killer" comic show up for me in Umwelt. Then it changed to the "Void" comic despite the fact that JavaScript was supported (it was Google Chrome) and now nothing shows up at all. I don't get it.... --JayRulesXKCD what's up? 12:25, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

I notified davean, since nobody said doing so. Musaran (talk) 14:26, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

Developer console on Opera 46 shows this error:

GET http://umwelt.xkcd.com/story/ghenkEggov8?callback=waldoCallback&w=796&h=658…%3Dopera%26hs%3DuXE%26gbv%3D1%26sei%3Df5dkWd_9MMiGaJKyibAG&_=1499764695887 503 (Service Unavailable)

So it appears there are problems with the server. Also, I confirm that disabling Javascript in the browser results in the reviews comic displaying. Jaalenja (talk) 09:28, 11 July 2017 (UTC)

Israel is incorrect. I ive there and I got Saturday _OHF (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Guys it won't even load in my iPad browser, you can't even see the ring now. Herobrine (talk) 05:45, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

Two buttons and no comic on Chrome 20/10/21, Oxford UK

Istočno Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 24. 10. 2022., Firefox 103.0.2 on Arch Linux desktop - nothing, just the two layers of buttons. Same thing in Private Browsing as well as normal. Inspect [Element] does show the Reviews strip in a <noscript> tag, but nothing appears on the page. 00:56, 24 October 2022 (UTC)

I have good news: Umwelt is being fixed!

New location for long Too Quiet?[edit]

I got the long version of Too Quiet on a Chromebook in Minnesota. The long version only seems to be mentioned for Chrome in Indiana. Can anyone else verify? 17:09, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

No one thought to mention that the "Snake" has two heads? Nitpicking (talk) 23:56, 25 September 2021 (UTC)

accessing XKCD with Netscape Navigator[edit]

I cannot access XKCD from Netscape 4.7 (i.e. a version from the 1990s), it gives a messagebox "Netscape and this server cannot communicate securely because they have no common encryption algorithm(s)."

Now I can work out what's going on: XKCD is not allowing unencrypted connections / is redirecting plain HTTP requests to the HTTPS version, but the only versions of SSLTLS that NS4 supports are ancient, insecure and prudently not supported by the site itself.

Now, if we assume that it's talking about still using NS per se, not 1990s NS: — the last version of Navigator was NS9, based on FF2.0. In FF2.0, I get "Firefox can't connect securely to xkcd.com because the site uses a security protocol which is not enabled." Looking in the options, it only offers two protocols (SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0), both of which are enabled.

I therefore have reason to believe that the Navigator Umwelt phenotype can only be accessed by user-agent spoofing, as XKCD and hence Umwelt apparently cannot be accessed from Netscape due to XKCD requiring higher TLS versions than NS offers. -- HarJIT (talk) 15:40, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

Yes, you're right. p.s. shortening the section header to improve the TOC. - Frankie (talk) 12:04, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

I keep trying to view the comic, but no matter what I try, it won't show me anything - AnonymousSub61 (talk) 14:51, 25 April 2019 (UTC)

On the Chrome OS in Massachusetts, only two rows of navigational buttons are displayed. It may apply across every state with the chrome OS. 3 June 2021.

Can confirm chrome OS doesn't work in georgia. i think randall forgot to add a bit for browsers/states that support javascript but aren't specifically listed- Anonia (talk) 9:58 21 december 2021

I live in South Korea and use an LG U+ phone, but no comic shows up. 15:15, 15 February 2022 (UTC)

new location for aurora???[edit]

i get the aurora one even though i'm not in any of the locations shown in that section. i live in madrid, spain I get it too, but the US version. 18:27, 14 March 2024 (UTC)

edit: also it shows me the utah version An user who has no account yet (talk) 16:34, 5 September 2023 (UTC)

is there an error with the smith college one? none of the people's hair is changed like in the wellesley one.. JLZ0kTC5 (talk) 13:18, 6 October 2023 (UTC)

on uni.xkcd.com, trying to display this comic displays Reviews, the previous comic Me[citation needed] 06:14, 9 October 2023 (UTC)

I was driving through Colorado on my phone, of it's in desktop view it shows snake, but in mobile shows the Aurora comic. is there anything about on the page relating to using desktop vs. mobile view? (talk) 19:10, 29 March 2024 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

i am in the UK but i get the aurora one 16:23, 22 April 2024 (UTC)

missing comic[edit]

referrer discord seems to have its own comic. [6] I'm not a wiki editor, and also this probably won't be seen for a while, but oh well. 16:22, 11 June 2024 (UTC)randomnoneditor5555

Unless I'm mistaken, this is 2699: Feature Comparison. Your mesage has been seen (by me, at least). And I don't know if you're saying that you you are disinclined to be a wiki editor, but if instead you think yourself incapable of editing (beyond the above comment) then be assured that it isn't that hard to do. Best advice would be to Preview any chosen change, see if it looks like you expect. 21:19, 11 June 2024 (UTC)