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This meme turned a dick joke into art.
The surprise stars of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, aren’t the elite competitors in the games, but the phallic statues outside. These buff men with unmistakably penis-like heads, officially called “Bullet Men,” have become a huge meme in Japan.
Japanese memers call them “#モルゲッソヨ,” pronounced “morugessoyo.” It means “I have no idea” in Korean.
The three statues have been in place at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Center since 2009, BuzzFeed reported. They supposedly represent “the desire for a cool body,” but the Japanese internet finds them more hilarious than cool. Funny Photoshops, videos, and fanart are everywhere.
On legendary Japanese message board 2ch, ASCII-art versions are especially popular:
— イグジェイド (@Igjade) February 9, 2018
— 電気羊 (@clockwork_peach) February 8, 2018
— Rev. Tack Angel ⚪️ (@tackangel) February 9, 2018
And on Twitter, various parody images are going wild. Check out the Silver Surfer version:
— ワクテカ一世 (@wakuteka_the1st) February 9, 2018
The cycling version:
— nYolo (@nYolo7900) February 9, 2018
The cute mascot version:
— まさひさ工房@LINEスタンプ販売中 (@masahisakoubou) February 9, 2018
There are several jokes about Diglett, a character from Pokémon:
— みくろん (@93_wednesday) February 9, 2018
— rawegg – 加藤 僚一 (@rawegg) February 9, 2018
— さいだ一明@三日目東ウ46b (@saida_kazuaki) February 10, 2018
When Japanese memers find something that resonates, they really go all out. The Bullet Men meme is truly a multimedia experience, involving everything from cosplay to action figures to latte art to… interpretive dance?
— かちゅぼんASD (@kachubon) February 10, 2018
— 醬油皿 (@syouyuzara) February 9, 2018
— じょーじ (@george_10g) February 9, 2018
— 黒ファ (@dice468101220) February 9, 2018
— galast/joker (@jooo_ker) February 9, 2018
Sure, it’s a giant dick joke, but it’s been elevated and made magical through craftsmanship and a playful sense of humor. The Olympics have only just started, but the Bullet Men are the early frontrunners for the best meme out of Pyeongchang.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.