Liminal Spaces / Images With Elegiac Auras
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Liminal Spaces, is an architectural term that defines "the physical spaces between one destination and the next," such as hallways, airports and streets. After the popularization of The Backrooms meme in May 2019, social media pages collecting images of liminal spaces gained viral popularity, most notably the /r/LiminalSpace subreddit.
In meme culture, the understanding of a "liminal space" is less strict and can be applied to any empty place built by humans that looks dissonant with reality for any subjective reason. Online, they also are referred to as "images with elegiac auras," "places that feel strangely familiar," "places you've been to in your dreams," etc. The images are sometimes considered a subgenre of cursed images.
The online popularization of images of liminal spaces follows the trend of The Backrooms meme that began in May 2019. On May 12th, 2019, an anonymous 4chan user launched a thread of "disquieting images" that "felt off" on the /x/ board, posting a photograph of an empty hallway lit by square ceiling lights and with its walls covered with monotonous yellow wallpaper. In the same thread, another user replied with a creepypasta based on the photograph, spawning the meme.
"If you're not careful and you noclip out of reality in the wrong areas, you'll end up in the Backrooms, where it's nothing but the stink of old moist carpet, the madness of mono-yellow, the endless background noise of fluorescent lights at maximum hum-buzz, and approximately six hundred million square miles of randomly segmented empty rooms to be trapped in
God save you if you hear something wandering around nearby, because it sure as hell has heard you.
Prior to the /x/ thread, several notable tweets about liminal places were made online. On May 21st, 2018, Twitter user @ReiverCafferata replied to another tweet with an explanation about liminal spaces, with their tweet gaining over 100 retweets and 1,400 likes (shown below, left). On March 15th, 2019, Twitter user @zerstoerer tweeted a photograph of the interior of a Holiday Inn Express near Heathrow Airport in London, England. The tweet (shown below, center) received over 12,000 likes and 3,000 retweets in one year, with the photograph becoming viral. On April 19th, 2019, Twitter user @unwrappedlolly created a thread about liminal spaces, with the first post in the thread gaining over 6,000 retweets and 13,100 likes (shown below, right).
On August 14th, 2019, Redditor CaLaHa717 launched the /r/LiminalSpace subreddit, posting several photographs of such spaces on the same day. The subreddit grew to become the largest hub of collecting such images online, growing to over 200,000 users as of May 2021 (example images shown below).
In April 2020, several collections of photographs of liminal spaces went viral, with the term gaining widespread recognition. On April 1st, 2020, subreddit /r/Weirdlyfamiliar was created, gaining over 4,300 subscribers in one year. Starting on April 3rd, Tumblr user phoebelila posted several collections, with their first post gaining over 23,200 likes and reblogs in one year. On April 9th, 2020, subreddit /r/LimilalReality was launched, with over 14,600 members joining in one year.
On April 13th, 2020, Tumblr user rottingdaydreams posted a collection that gained over 20,100 likes and reblogs. On April 15th, 2020, YouTuber float posted a compilation video set to dark ambient music, which received over two million views (shown below).
On June 6th, 2020, Twitter account Images with Elegiac Auras (@elegiac_images), inspired by the March 15th, 2019, tweet by @zerstoerer, was launched, gaining over 120,000 followers in two months. After the account's suspension in November 2020, another account @elegiacimages was created, gaining over 13,000 followers in seven months.
On August 1st, 2020, bot Twitter account Liminal Spaces (@SpaceLiminalBot) was created, sharing images from the /r/LiminalSpace subreddit. The account received viral popularity on Twitter, gaining nearly 180,000 followers in 10 months.
On TikTok, posts with the hashtag "#liminalspace" had amassed over 16.6 million views as of May 11th, 2021.
 4plebs – /x/ Thread #22661164
 4chan – /x/ Post #22662718
 Twitter – @RiverCafferata
 Twitter – @zerstoerer
 Reddit – Terminal 4 Holiday Inn Express, London Heathrow
 Twitter – @unwrappedlolly
 Tumblr – phoebelila
 Reddit – /r/LiminalSpace
 Reddit – /r/Weirdlyfamiliar
 Reddit – /r/LiminalReality
 Tumblr – rottingdaydreams
 YouTube – strangely familiar places with unnerving music
 Internet Archive – @elegiac_images
 Twitter – @elegiacimages
 Twitter – @SpaceLiminalBot
 TikTok – #liminalspace
Dec 27, 2020 at 08:35PM EST
BulletproofBrony, Not Dead Melia
May 11, 2021 at 02:33PM EDT in reply to
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