Memes in 2010: Double Rainbow

Memes in 2010: Double Rainbow

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Nature Can Be Overwhelming

In early January, Paul Vasquez stepped out of his home near Yosemite National Park and saw two well-formed rainbows clearly visible across the sky. The majestic sight of mother nature apparently evoked an intense emotional experience for Paul, to which he responded by alternating between yelling, moaning, and even breaking into tears. He uploaded the video under his YouTube account HungryBear9562 shortly after, but it largely remained in obscurity until American talk show host Jimmy Kimmel introduced the clip via his Twitter account.

KYMdb Image Collection

The database entry currently has 63 images associated with this meme. Check them out at KYMdb – Double Rainbow.


- The video received sensational blog coverage & mainstream media exposure, reaching one million views within the . On July 16th, reported that the video had gained over 4.8 million views. By December, the original YouTube clip passed the 20 million view mark.

- Parodies of Double Rainbow like Double KFC Drive-Thru and Double Rainbow Guy in Everyday Life:

- As the video continued to fare well with view counts, some YouTubers sought to take advantage by uploading duplicates as the “original” and an impostor even created a Twitter account with Paul’s handle “HungryBear9562” and communicated with the fans as the real Double Rainbow Guy. When Paul discovered someone else was pretending to be him, he wasn’t so happy:

- The Auto-Tune Effect: The Gregory Brothers uploaded the “Double Rainbow Song” on July 5th, and this spawned many covers and remixes of its own.

- References to Double Rainbows have been popping up in interesting places ever since. The Cartoon Network show Adventure Time parodied that Vasquez video:

- Since going viral, Paul has been interviewed by a number of TV media outlets on his viral success and newfound fame, such as Jimmy Kimmel Live and CBS News. On July 7th, Internet Scientist ElspethJane also caught up with Paul for an interview; click here to read the full transcript.

Elspeth: Double Rainbows don’t happen every day- is this the first time you’ve caught one on film?

HungryBear: I have lots of rainbow vid on my You Tube page, they come to my front door on a regular basis.

Elspeth: You are in incredibly high spirits during the video- are you usually like that? If so, any advice for us on how to always be that happy and in awe of nature?

HungryBear: The rainbow was the Universe or Spirit flowing through me, the reaction you heard was how I reacted to seeing the Holy Ghost, kind of like Moses seeing the burning bush in the 10 commandments.

- Call of Duty: Black Ops has a prominent double rainbow in the sky in the “Nuketown” multiplayer map:

- And Microsoft famously used Vasquez in a Windows Live Photo Gallery commercial:

Un-weaving the Double Rainbow

We discovered that double rainbows are not entirely uncommon, and are merely the result of light being double reflected in raindrops. The secondary rainbow is separated from the primary with what is called an Alexander’s band. Science.

More Meme Reviews

And don’t forget to check out the rest of 2010 meme reviews!

- KYM Blog – Memes in 2010: Downfall
- KYM Blog – Memes in 2010: Effing Magnets
- KYM Blog – Memes in 2010: Douel Rainbow
- KYM Blog – Memes in 2010: Antoine Dodson
- KYM Monthly Review – Complete Listing of Past Issues

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