Super Mario 64 Cosmic Ray Bit Flip
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Super Mario 64 Cosmic Ray Bit Flip refers to a viral event that occurred on September 21st, 2013, in which a purported high energy particle from a cosmic ray affected a Super Mario 64 speedrunning attempt by flipping a single bit and causing Mario to jump unusually high, helping the speedrun. An unresolved mystery for a long time, the occurrence was eventually recognized as a result of a single event upset and has been referenced in memes since 2021.
On September 13th, 2013, speedrunner DOTA_TeaBag experienced an unusual occurrence during his livestreamed Super Mario 64 speedrun that involved Mario jumping several times higher than normally possible without any apparent reason, which helped DOTA_TeaBag save time during his run. A clip of the event was saved on Twitch, where it gained over 13,700 views in 10 years (shown below).
On August 4th, 2015, YouTuber and Super Mario 64 analyst pannenkoek2012 uploaded a recording of DOTA_TeaBag's speedrun, putting a $1,000 bounty on the glitch, meaning that the person able to replicate it would receive the reward. The video gained over 1.8 million views in eight years (shown below), while the reward, as of March 2023, had not been claimed.
As pannenkoek2012 and others in the speedrunning community were unable to replicate the glitch, some users made a conjecture that an external force could have been involved, such as a high energy particle from a cosmic ray hitting the Nintendo 64 memory in what is known as a "single upset event." For example, in 2016, YouTube user Fendoroid wrote about this theory in a comment on the video (shown below).
The clip appeared in the 2017 video by speedrunning YouTuber Apollo Legend, with the theory being mentioned as a possible explanation for the glitch. The video garnered over 1.7 million views in six years.
On September 16th, 2020, the gaming news website The Gamer published an article about the occurrence titled, "How An Ionizing Particle From Outer Space Helped A Mario Speedrunner Save Time." On September 25th, 2020, Know Your Meme user Interlaced Perception posted the earliest found meme referencing the event, a GIF Caption that gained over 1,200 views in three years (shown below, left).
On August 31st, 2021, several suspected single upset events, including the 2013 Super Mario 64 bit flip, were featured in a Veritasium YouTube video "The Universe is Hostile to Computers" that gained over 18 million views in two years. The viral video prompted more memes referencing the occurrence shortly after. For example, on October 4th, 2021, Redditor radi0w4ve posted a This Will Affect the Economy meme that received over 4,500 upvotes in the /r/okbuddyphd subreddit (shown below, right).
On August 21st, 2022, iFunny user MyCreapyFace posted a video caption meme referencing the glitch that gained over 16,300 smiles in seven months. On March 1st, 2023, Twitter meme account @LocalBateman posted a modified version of the meme, with the post gaining over 1.3 million views and 42,600 likes and causing a surge in memes referencing the event.
 Twitch – New TTC Warp Strat
 YouTube – SM64 – TTC Upwarp $1000 Bounty
 YouTube – Top 10 Weirdest Moments in Speedrunning
 The Gamer – How An Ionizing Particle From Outer Space Helped A Mario Speedrunner Save Time
 Know Your Meme – A cosmic gamma ray caused a bit flip, obviously
 YouTube – The Universe is Hostile to Computers
 Reddit – changing one number will not affect my mario 64 speedrun for sure :trollface:
 iFunny – MyCreapyFace
 Twitter – @LocalBateman
Mar 07, 2023 at 08:48AM EST
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Mar 07, 2023 at 02:43AM EST in reply to
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