1836: Okeanos

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The NOAAS Okeanos Explorer, named after the Greek (and Roman) personification of the sea Okeanos, is a vessel that is currently exploring the Central Pacific Basin. It livestreams the video feed [1] of its deep sea exploration online.

This comic seems to be a representation of the livestream on YouTube [2]; see the table below for details.

The chat section for the actual livestream is disabled, but the comic adds some humorous examples of what the chat section would look like. Several of the examples are the product of commenters falsely believing the livestream is that of a game, probably since most livestreams on YouTube are of people playing games; Randall is joking about the viewers of said streams in particular not being able to tell the difference, as well as YouTube commenters in general. Randall has mentioned the ridiculousness of comments on YouTube before in both 202: YouTube and 481: Listen to Yourself. One of the comments seems to refer to Minecraft or a similar game, since one of the comments asks why nothing is being crafted (crafting is a mechanic in many games, used to make items).

In the caption below Randall states that he likes to view the stream and commends them on disabling the chat section, for the reasons given in the comic above.

The title text is yet another comment by someone who dropped their phone from a boat, and now wants to use Okeanos' resources to find it, which is of course impossible; if the boat was anywhere near Okeanos, the phone would have swiftly been hidden in the silt on the bottom. And even if not, the chance of finding anything dropped in the Pacific Ocean, the largest Ocean on the Earth, is all but zero. Also, the Central Pacific Basin, where Okeanos was at the time of this comic's release, is 6500 meters deep; at that depth the water pressure is approximately 4454.863 kilopascals, or roughly 646 PSI. This is probably enough to irrevocably damage something as breakable as a cell phone. Even if the phone were of the so-called "waterproof" variety, that rating is usually only applicable to a few meters of depth rather than thousands of meters. Needless to say, retrieving one's phone from the bottom of the Central Pacific Basin would be a challenging and pointless endeavor.

Table of comments

Comment Explanation
Fake A very common YouTube comment expressing disbelief, for example saying that the content is edited or computer generated.
Who else is watching this in 2017? This type of comment appears frequently on videos, as a kind of community bonding over discovering or revisiting older content. It is not relevant here, as this is a live feed in 2017.
Is this prerendered or will these graphics be in the game? Previews for video games often use a mix of pre-rendered computer graphics and in-game footage, generally because in-game footage is not always visually impressive, interesting to watch, or easy to fit into the narrative of a preview advertisement. This practice can easily mislead people into believing that the pre-rendered graphics represent the actual game graphics, leading to disappointment when they purchase the game and find out that this isn't the case. The commenter, who has mistaken the marine footage for a game trailer, is trying to determine if what he's seeing is pre-rendered or not, since it looks photorealistic to the point that he can't believe these are in-game graphics.
That squid is a neoliberal Likely an attempt at trolling; anyone with even a passing knowledge of marine life will be annoyed that the commenter confused the onscreen jellyfish with a squid, and everyone else will be annoyed by the politically-charged accusation in a place where such conversation clearly does not belong. Judging by the following comments, they have successfully baited at least one other person in the chat.
Why do the McElroys never talk A reference to The Adventure Zone, a Dungeons & Dragons podcast hosted by the McElroy Brothers and their father. In the world of The Adventure Zone, there is a creature called the Voidfish, which is generally interpreted to look like a jellyfish. Its abilities include censoring forbidden knowledge spoken by initiated to the uninitiated, so the commenter can't hear anything the McElroys are saying.
Stop messing around and eat the fish already Possibly a gamer or food vlog watcher. It could also be that the commenter believes that the footage is from the perspective of a marine predator.
This is why Trump won Another unwelcome injection of politics. This is likely targeted at the 'squid is a neoliberal' commenter, claiming that Trump's election was a reaction to the unwelcome injection of politics into culture.
Why do u never craft anything A comment referencing games such as Subnautica and Minecraft, where a key aspect to survival is crafting materials. Not crafting items in these games is often taken as a sign of ignorance or inexperience, which may be a source of mockery for commenters watching a gaming stream.
This is just a distraction Commenter thinks people should be focused on other things which are more important. Possibly political comment. Possibly a conspiracy theorist.
Something is wrong with that baby giraffe A live video of a giraffe in labor and giving birth was viral in April 2017. This commenter is either confused about which video they're watching, and is concerned that the creature on screen (a jellyfish) looks unlike a healthy baby giraffe, or is feigning this confusion as a joke.
[title text]


Someone in chat is asking the Explorer to look for a phone they dropped in the ocean. The Explorer doesn't have retrieving lost articles as part of its stated duties, and the impossibility of finding such a small item in such a huge ocean means this request will likely be ignored.


[The comic takes place during a typical YouTube livestream. The livestream video titled "Camera 1: Exploring the Central Pacific Basin" is provided by the channel "OceanExplorerGov" and recorded from Okeanos Explorer exploratory vessel. On the left hand side, the live video feed is playing, showing a jellyfish in the ocean's depths. On the right hand side, the live chat is displayed.]
User #1: Fake
User #2: Who else is watching this in 2017?
User #3: Is this prerendered or will these graphics be in the game?
User #4: That squid is a neoliberal
User #5: Why do the McElroys never talk
User #6: Stop messing around and eat the fish already
User #7: This is why Trump won
User #8: Why do u never craft anything
User #9: This is just a distraction
User #10: Something is wrong with that baby giraffe
[Caption below the panel:]
I love watching the Okeanos Ocean Exploration livestream, but it's probably for the best that they don't enable chat.

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Take it from here guys. Also, glad the website is back online! Nialpxe (talk) 06:58, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

"Who else is watching..." is used as some form of community bonding on Youtube to connect with other people re-watching (or watching for the first time) (much) older videos at a later date. COmpare with "Who else got here from XKCD [or similar]" if the video was linked from a particular site and it's users are trying to recognize each other. 07:03, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Yay! The website's finally back online! --JayRulesXKCD what's up? 11:35, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Isn't often Randall does color. Hmmm, must be Fake.  :) -- 11:37, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Guess it is supposed to be funny, but just for the sake of it... Randall has done 383 comics with color, including this one, making it more than one in five (20.9%) that use color! ;-) --Kynde (talk) 15:54, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

"When I went on a boat I dropped my phone can you look for it" I wonder if this is supposed to mean that the phone [insert name here] dropped is the one live-streaming or if [insert name here] is asking the people on the live-stream to look for his phone. --JayRulesXKCD what's up? 11:49, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Crafting might not be a Minecraft reference, as lots of games have crafting. 12:54, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Fixed it. --JayRulesXKCD what's up? 13:30, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
First time I read that, I was thinking along the lines of a Let's Play with a MMO. -- 13:08, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
Me too. Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 09:43, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

"[T]he ocean... is not a small place[citation needed]" is flat out hilarious. I just want to show my appreciation for whoever put 'citation needed' in there. I'm going to spend the next several days just thinking about how funny that is. IonFreeman (talk) 13:38, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Honestly, I feel that joke is way too overused on this wiki 16:19, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
[citation needed] 17:46, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
I only can remember it being used twice, and this was one of those two. OldCorps (talk) 16:33, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes it is used too much. I have rephrased the title text explanation anyway, and deleted it. --Kynde (talk) 15:54, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Did anyone notice the subtle style changes to xkcd? The buttons at the top have their glow going beyond the black line now, and (less noticable) your mouse needs to be one pixel farther into the comic to see the mouseover text. 18:24, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

No, but thanks for mentioning. --Kynde (talk) 15:54, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Why is the title text capitalized?

Whoever added that to the chat has capslock on, I assume-- 11:47, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

It says that this comic needs more explanation of the comments. However, there is a quite detailed table beneath it that described the comments. Does this still need the incomplete tag? Dretler (talk) 18:35, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

I thought that this comic was being a little unfair to the average person watching a scientific livestream. I am watching the live NASA feed of the impact of DART into Didymos, and of the 120,000 people currently watching, it does seem that the most vocal people are exhibiting this level, or more, of trolling and scientifically dubious comments. Randall, I should not have doubted you. Dextrous Fred (talk) 22:30, 26 September 2022 (UTC)