gnomes are real meme

Gnomes are Real

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Updated Mar 31, 2023 at 04:21PM EDT by Owen.

Added Mar 31, 2023 at 02:37PM EDT by Owen.

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Gnomes are Real, also known as Gnomes Exist, refers to semi-satirical content based on a conspiracy theory and belief that the mythological creatures gnomes are real due to the presence of small, human-like beings existing in multiple, written histories of many cultures, countries and religions under different names. The theory was aided by allegedly real footage of gnomes online, often blurry, pixelated and low-quality, similar to ghost, skinwalker and other videos showing paranormal cryptids. During the rise of Schizowave and Schizoposting in the early 2020s, concepts such as being Gnomepilled surfaced on 4chan and iFunny, among other platforms, and led to ironic "Gnomes are Real" videos and memes on TikTok in 2023 that shared gnome footage and made edits with them.


The word "gnome" became prevalent in 16th-century Switzerland and came to define a European folklore creature that's a dwarfish, subterranean goblin who guards mines of precious treasures hidden in the earth.[1] Gnome-like creatures also exist in non-European folklore. For instance, in Malaysian and Indonesian folklore, creatures called Orang bunian "hidden people" and are said to inhabit deep forests and have elf-like features like pointed ears.[2] In Latin America, South America and Spain, gnome-like creatures are referred to as duende.[3] In Scandinavian countries, gnome-like creatures are called nisse.[4]

Online History

Argentina Gnome Video

On March 11th, 2008, news outlet The Sun[5] picked up a story from the Argentinian news outlet El Tribuno[6] that included footage of what appeared to be a duende (gnome) in a small town, videographed by a teenager named Jose Alvarez.[7] On March 12th, 2008, YouTuber[8] Robin Swope posted the video, receiving roughly 1.8 million views over the course of 15 years (shown below). One of the first discussions about gnomes on 4chan's /x/[9] board linked the aforementioned video. In the years that followed its upload, multiple YouTube[10][11] videos surfaced that showed the same footage.

In March 2008, Snopes[7] fact-checked the story, allegedly proving that the video was fake, stating, "our Argentine correspondents inform us that no one else in the area (save for a few well-known cranks) has been claiming to have spotted a duende, is afraid to go outdoors, or has been hospitalized over excessive gnome fright."

Parody Gnome Footage

After 2008, parody gnome footage surfaced on YouTube and gained engagement over time. For instance, on March 23rd, 2008, YouTuber[12] pieknamya uploaded a parody of the Argentina gnome footage, earning roughly 453,600 views in 15 years (shown below, left). On October 19th, 2011, YouTuber[13] ScreenInvaders posted a video called "Real Police Footage โ€“ Garden Gnomes Attack" that received roughly 1.5 million views in 12 years (shown below, right).

Gnomes are Real

Starting in 2013, multiple users on 4chan's /x/ board started or added to threads with comments about how gnomes are real. For instance, on May 20th, 2013, a 4chan user posted to /x/[14] and talked about the Argentina video to which another user replied, "Gnomes/duendes are scary as fuck. I saw one for real about a year ago now. Would not want to see one again" (shown below, left). On April 11th, 2014, a user posted to /x/[15] asking, "Has anyone on /x/ ever seen a gnome?" (shown below, right). The post started a thread with numerous replies about gnomes and leprechauns, related to the YouTube[16] video link that the anon sent.

[26 / 4] 26KiB, 682x400, Gnome In Argentina.jpg Anonymous Mon 20 May 2013 04:32:50 No.12662858 Quoted By: >>12664505 >>12664578 >>12665454 View >>12665489 >>12665555 >>12665572 >>12668640 The alleged "terrorizing gnome" spotted by multiple people in Argentina all those years ago is still quite a mystery, even today. What is your take on this? Do you believe this to have been a real creature? Provide as much proof as you can muster. Anonymous Mon 20 May 2013 12:55:55 No.12664501 Gnomes/duendes are scary as fuck. I saw one for real about a year ago now. Would not want to see one again. [165/28] 11KiB, 400x323, gnomes.jpg gnomes Anonymous Fri 11 Apr 2014 23:26:59 No.14450292 Quoted By: >>14450375 >>14450425 >>14450649 >>14452419 >>14453065 >>14453659 >>14467186 View Has anyone on /x/ ever seen a gnome? This guy has a lot of interesting videos where he investigates activity around his house. He stopped making them around 2010 and no one knows what happened.

The aforementioned YouTube[16] video discussed in the /x/[15] thread was uploaded on March 1st, 2010, by YouTuber ImSeeingGnomes. The roughly six-minute-long video showed the YouTuber's backyard where, in his opinion, there were many gnomes in hiding. The video received roughly 6,600 views in 13 years (shown below).

"Gnomes are Real" discussions continued to surface on 4chan's /x/[17][18] board going into the late 2010s and 2020s.

Gnomepill / Gnomecore

Gnomepill and Gnomecore are slang terms which refer to a series of memes that humorously advertise gnomes' cozy, nature-appreciative way of life as a superior one. In memes, Gnomepill often constitutes a "good versus evil" dichotomy with Goblin Mode. "To gnomepill" has also been used in the meaning "to reveal the truth that gnomes exist."

On January 14th, 2021, an anonymous 4chan[19] user posted a Schizowave-style edit based on pictures of gnomes from various books set to a synthwave remix of "Let Her Go" by Passenger[20] in a Hyperborea thread on the /wsg/ board. In the following months, the edit was actively circulated on the board.[21]

On March 4th, 2021, YouTuber[22] Joohhnn made the earliest found reupload of the video to YouTube, where it gained over 18,000 views in one year (seen below).

Starting in September 2021, content creator Thulean Nature started uploading Schizowave-style Gnomepill edits to YouTube and Instagram. For example, on September 24th, 2021, Thulean Nature uploaded[23] an edit that gained over 21,000 views in nine months (shown below, left).

On TikTok

Predominantly starting in late 2022, video creators on TikTok started to post "Gnomes are Real" content, mostly using gnome footage videos previously uploaded to YouTube. For instance, on November 19th, 2022, TikToker[24] @notacheron posted a video using aforementioned YouTube videos and the #gnomesarereal hashtag on TikTok,[25] earning roughly 464,200 plays and 108,800 likes in four months (shown below, left).

@notacheron #gnomes #caught #gnomesarereal #watchout #midwestemo โ™ฌ original sound โ€“ achโ„ฎron

@jelqprophet #gnomes #foryou โ™ฌ What she might say to me slowed โ€“ Beeweiss Tiddlepeep

Multiple memes and videos surfaced within the #gnomesarereal hashtag on TikTok[25] going into early 2023, whereby March 31st, 2023, the hashtag had amassed over 4.3 million views.

Various Examples

Search Interest

External References

[1] Encyclopedia Britannica โ€“ Gnome

[2] Wikipedia โ€“ Orang bunian

[3] Wikipedia โ€“ Duende

[4] Wikipedia โ€“ Nisse

[5] The Sun (via Wayback Machine) โ€“ 'Creepy gnome' terrorises town

[6] El Tribuno (via Wayback Machine) unretriavable

[7] Snopes โ€“ Did a 'Creepy Gnome' Sighting Terrify an Argentine Neighborhood?

[8] YouTube โ€“ 'Creepy gnome' terrorises town

[9] 4chan (via 4plebs) โ€“ /x/

[10] YouTube โ€“ Gnome causes Terror in Argentina

[11] YouTube โ€“ The Creepy Gnome sighting in Argentina

[12] YouTube โ€“ Re: Gnome sighting in Argentina

[13] YouTube โ€“ Real Police Footage โ€“ Garden Gnomes Attack

[14] 4chan (via 4plebs) โ€“ /x/

[15] 4chan (via 4plebs) โ€“ /x/

[16] YouTube โ€“ Gnome high-activity location tour

[17] 4chan (via 4plebs) โ€“ /x/

[18] 4chan (via 4plebs) โ€“ /x/

[9] Desuarchive โ€“ /wsg/ Post #3754106

[20] YouTube โ€“ Passenger โ€“ Let Her Go but It's 80s Synthwave

[21] Desuarchive โ€“ Search Results

[22] YouTube โ€“ gnome hyperborea

[23] YouTube โ€“ Gnome Hyperborea edit.

[24] TikTok โ€“ @notacheron

[25] TikTok โ€“ #gnomesarereal

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