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“Mind Blown” also denoted as “*Mind = Blown*,” is a slang term used to express one’s excitement after learning or discovering new knowledge, oftentimes regardless of its degree of significance. It can be seen as a contraction of the idiomatic phrase “blow someone’s mind,” as in to astonish or impress someone in a moving way.
The phrase “mind blown” has been used to express shock and bewilderment since as early as 1996 with the inclusion of a song titled “mind blown” in N.W.A rapper MC Ren’s second solo album The Villain in Black. By 1997, the phrase had found its way into online vernacular, as evidently used in the title of a post on the Usenet group alt.fan.david-bowie to describe the poster’s reaction to seeing David Bowie perform live.
In 2006, the phrase was mentioned by the Classical Values blog to describe a world map allegedly drawn in 1418. In 2007, the urban traveling blog GridSkipper used the phrase in praising the subway system in Stockholm, Sweden and guitarist Duke Levine’s talent. On February 3rd, 2008, “mind = blown” began appearing throughout 4chan as a common response to shocking revelations. The same month, a thread dedicated to “mind-blowing stuff” was started on the NeoGAF forums, yielding 12 pages of responses in a little more than a week. In the thread, many commenters used “mind blown” and “mind = blown” in response to the images and facts presented by other forum members.
In October of that year, a thread attempting to translate “mind blown” into Spanish was posted on the Word Reference forums. Between 2008 and 2009, the phrase “mind=blown” was used on Gamespot, Gizmodo, The Escapist and the Legendary Pokemon forums. Another Word Reference thread about the phrase was posted on March 22nd, 2010, this time attempting to translate it into Italian. On April 19th, 2010, the /r/MindBlown subreddit was created to share awe-inspiring images and videos. As of August 2013, it has accrued more than 430 readers. On July 9th, 2010, a thread for “mind blowing” images thread was created on the New Schoolers forums, where it accrued nearly 70 pages over three years. As early as May 2011, the phrase became associated with a reaction GIF of a clip from the Adult Swim series Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show (shown below).
Between 2011 and 2013, “mind blown” threads have appeared on a number of forums including Niketalk, MTBR, MMO Champion, Bodybuilding.com and DigiRev. Additional photo compilations meant to evoke a “mind blown” response have been shared on The Chive and Buzzfeed.
Additional images, including both reaction GIFs and those meant to evoke a “mind blown” response, can be found with the hashtag #mindblown on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr.
Bodybuilding – [the ultimate Mind = Blown thread] when you see it…