Fish doorbells! Historic sandwiches! 50 of the weirdest, most wonderful corners of the web – picked by an expert

  • August 31, 2023
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Can’t face another minute thinking about war, inflation or the climate catastrophe? Give your brain a break in a strange, surprising or entrancing corner of the internet. We’ve got riddles, we’ve got webcams, we’ve got an owl in a box …

I must be about 1,000 years old in internet years (which are even shorter than dog years). I remember doing a summer job as a student in 1995, being instructed to research something on the computer and sitting in front of AltaVista (a primitive search engine, young folk), with absolutely no idea what to do. I was supposed to press some buttons? Information would come out? What?

As a digital migrant rather than a native, I also remember how amazing it felt to stumble my way around the internet in the 90s and early 00s, uncovering its unexpected nooks and crannies with astonishment and delight; it was an exciting and genuinely joyful time. Now I watch other people shout at each other, assailed by news of catastrophes and bombarded with adverts for horrible trousers and cryptocurrency for the further enrichment of billionaires. I scroll, jaded, trying to recapture that sense of wonder I used to feel.

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