A tweet Melania Trump uploaded in 2012 suddenly changed after six years online, baffling social media users who wondered if we’d finally broken the simulation (or, at the very least, found ourselves on Punk’d).
The post initially showed a photo of a beluga whale surfacing from a body of water and was captioned, “What is she thinking?”
Simple enough, right? Well, over the weekend, Twitter users noticed that the image had switched from that of a whale to a picture of a giraffe and that the image appeared to change based on the device being used to view the post.
People were understandably confused.
Ok, so the famous @MELANIATRUMP tweet of a beluga whale from 2012 has somehow mysteriously turned into a pic of a giraffe on my iPhone (Just noticed by a bunch of people tonight) but is still a whale on my Android. How does that even happen?? pic.twitter.com/CYQJduvhKg
— Steven Lemongello (@SteveLemongello) December 30, 2018
Same Melania tweet on my iPhone & my laptop. It renders on mobile as the beluga whale (not dolphin) & on the right is the giraffe. Did she try to activate the Winter Soldier or something? Here's the tweet: https://t.co/SFL2FZomC3 pic.twitter.com/ppmxkwZcdx
— Gerry Duggan (@GerryDuggan) December 30, 2018
I swear this is not photoshopped. You know the famous Melania Trump “what is she thinking” tweet? You know how it’s, like, a picture of a beluga whale, right? Well, why has it suddenly turned into a giraffe?? Is anyone else seeing this???? pic.twitter.com/7ezImZFTfT
— yung 2019 ben™ (@benicus_rex) December 21, 2018
— Ira (@ira) December 30, 2018
This is me clicking on the photo I am terrified pic.twitter.com/6plHU27UO2
— Ira (@ira) December 30, 2018
Thankfully, there appears to be a simple explanation.
The confusion over Melania Trump’s tweet prompted Deadspin to re-share an article it published last September on a 2012 tweet on the Chicago Cubs account where the image had changed to one of an adult film performer.
This is probably why Melania Trump's beluga whale tweet now has a photo of a giraffe: https://t.co/6O9GBQAXnW
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) December 30, 2018
“One explanation, which is more likely than a social media manager’s horny mistake being able to survive for six years, is that the URL’s image ID, which was previously attached to a nice photo of Billy Williams and his grandsons, was reused some time in the last six years, and was re-assigned to this blurry naked woman,” the outlet notes.
All 5+ year old accounts should be concerned tbh. My guess is that the twitpic URL (that existed at the time) changed hosts and then the (probably legitimate) photo became that
— Matt Barnthouse (@MattBarnthouse) September 25, 2018
So there you have it, kids. Still, the tweet’s metamorphosis makes for a rather humorous addition to its already silly history. When the future First Lady initially posted the tweet, she opened up an opportunity for many to offer their own suggestions for what that sweet whale could possibly be ruminating on. Given the Trump administration’s rather adversarial relationship with climate change research, you can imagine the reactions were not exactly flattering.
“Global warming is real. Climate change is real.”
— Travis Flores (@travisflores) May 21, 2018
The ice caps are melting at an exponential rate due to CO2 (g) and CH4 (g) being release and stuck into our atmosphere
— meg (@meganrollo) October 28, 2017
“Why does Scott Pruitt hate me?”
— you heard me (@kpantsvp) October 27, 2017
Well, at least we can still make ourselves laugh.