melania whale giraffe tweet


Melania Trump’s infamous whale tweet is now a giraffe, and people are losing it

Do you see a whale or a giraffe?


Elizabeth VanMetre

Internet Culture

Posted on Dec 30, 2018   Updated on May 20, 2021, 10:33 pm CDT

A six-year-old tweet of a beluga whale posted by First Lady Melania Trump is creating havoc in the Twitter-verse since it mysteriously turned into a picture of a giraffe.

In August 2012 Trump shared a picture of the whale with its head out of the water and its mouth hanging open along with the caption, “What is she thinking?” Little did she know, her husband would run for and become President of the United States, and the tweet would become a meme for those who wonder the same thing about her.

But recently, things changed. 

Twitter user @benicus_rex noticed the change last week.

On Saturday people went nuts over the new image associated with the tweet: A giraffe looking over a fence. Same caption, same year, same time, new animal—and Twitter is losing its mind.

Even more insane, some are still seeing the whale, others are seeing the giraffe. It appears to depend on what browsers or devices people are using.

But what does it all mean?

Well, there is a pretty reasonable explanation for why the tweet image has changed. To find out, let’s take a look back into internet history.

Back in September, a  6-year-old Chicago Cubs tweet got some fresh attention when a photo of a porn star replaced an image of Hall of Famer, Billy Williams, and his grandsons, Deadspin reported.   

Yup, that’s not a photo of his grandsons.

Deadspin went on to explain that this was most likely the case of an expired URL being reassigned. The same thing that changed a photo of Billy Williams and his grandkids to one of this naked blurry woman may have affected Melania Trump’s whale. 

This has actually happened to dozens of tweets from sports teams including the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the New York Jets. Strangely enough, all of them are also from August 2012 as well, Deadspin points out.

But despite a logical explanation for the photo swap, Twitter users couldn’t help but come up with conspiracy theories about the new image.

Whatever the reason for the change, we’re glad this meme is getting the renewed attention it deserves.


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*First Published: Dec 30, 2018, 11:20 am CST