If the floppy purple birds haven't slammed your Facebook feed yet, give it a couple more hours. Other than that, we can tell you that the world is going completely bonkers over this new meme, and we deem it appropriate – heck, necessary – to explain its origins.
The unforeseen creation of an internet-breaking meme
Before we dive into the turbulent story of how trash doves took over the web, let's see where, how and why it originated. The answer to latter questions starts with one name – Syd Weiler.
Syd is a talented illustrator, animator and Adobe Creative Resident from Florida who coined the trash dove idea back in September 2016. She drew them live on her twitch channel over the weekend. It's unclear as of yet what was the inspiration behind the effortlessly cool purple bird, but, talking to Khaosod, the artist herself says it can be "whatever you want it to be."
Upon hearing about Apple's iOS10 sticker store, Weiler submitted her drawings. In no time, they became quite a hit on the App Store and were eventually syndicated by Facebook's platform. Now that's where the story gets interesting...
Syd's doves were released on Facebook on Tuesday, January 31. The next day, she woke up to her personal Facebook page and Twitter account being blasted by fan-made trash dove memes. As Syd told Popdust, "My personal FB page had 700 likes on Thursday – it's now around 35k." She also created the official Trash Doves account, which now has +35k followers.
Where did it all come from? Thailand.
According to Know Your Meme, the first meme featuring Syd's headbanging purple pigeon originated on a Thai Facebook page Animals With Paws in the form of the below video. To date, the absurd video has garnered almost 4 million views!
The meme caught the attention of a few Thai news outlets, the #purplebird hashtag started trending on Twitter, and eventually, the craze made it (back) to the United States and Europe.
The exact reason for such abrupt virality is still unknown, although many speculate the fact that in Thai language, the word for bird – nok – also describes someone who is hopelessly single. Perfect for the Saddentimes day, innit?
Now a simple Facebook search will show you multiple results ranging from standalone trash dove memes to actual pages, such as Trash Dove Conquer The World, Trash Dove Memes, etc. The scope of the meme is so wide, people are creating trash dove-inspired pins, makeup, cookies and whatnot.
Check out some of our favorite examples below: