Super Mario 64 Cosmic Ray Bit Flip meme example.

Super Mario 64 Cosmic Ray Bit Flip

Part of a series on Speedrunning. [View Related Entries]

Updated Mar 07, 2023 at 12:26PM EST by Zach.

Added Mar 06, 2023 at 05:03PM EST by Philipp.

PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.

This submission is currently being researched & evaluated!

You can help confirm this entry by contributing facts, media, and other evidence of notability and mutation.


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,[1] where it gained over 13,700 views in 10 years (shown below).


On August 4th, 2015, YouTuber[2] 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[3] user Fendoroid wrote about this theory in a comment on the video (shown below).

Fendoroid 6 years ago Since this glitch still has not been reproduced after a long time, many people think that the cause of this phenomenon was caused by a high energy particle hitting the n64 memory, modifying the value at the address of the most significant bit of Mario's Y position to a higher value. Or maybe it was a miracle, like the Red Sea glitch.... 384 Reply 25 replies

The clip appeared in the 2017 video by speedrunning YouTuber[4] 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[5] 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[6] 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[7] 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[8] subreddit (shown below, right).

Me trying to be funny: Why did the chicken cross the road? lol God trying to be funny: THIS WILL AFFECT MY MARIO 64 RUN

On August 21st, 2022, iFunny[9] user MyCreapyFace posted a video caption meme referencing the glitch that gained over 16,300 smiles in seven months. On March 1st, 2023, Twitter[10] 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.

Various Examples

Trey the Explainer @Trey Explainer That one solar particle on its way to flip a single bit on a N64 playing Mario on September 21, 2013 10:58 AM • Mar 1, 2023 4.8M Views made with mematic THIS WILL AFFECT MY MARIO 64 RUN Quage Editor meepmorps @ limbo @meepmorps Currently fascinated by the fact that one of the known examples of a Single Event Upset (a glitch caused by a wandering cosmic ray flipping one bit) is from a speedrun of Mario 64 • In 2013, a speedrunner of the Super Mario 64 video game using the Nintendo 64 console experienced a glitch which teleported Mario higher up in the "Tick Tock Clock" stage. This has been hypothesized to have been caused by an SEU, flipping the least significant bit of Mario's height's most [5] significant byte. ... 10:10 AM Mar 20, 2022

Search Interest

External References

Recent Videos 2 total

Recent Images 9 total

Top Comments

| || || |_
| || || |_

in reply to postpizzapocalypse

if you're not shitposting:

1. half-a-presses are a way of saying you only need to hold a for something instead of press it, for a minimum a press run. Yes, doing a minimum a press run is a completely arbitrary challenge, but it's not particularly unusual for weird challenges to exist. There is a speedrun category for BoTW called "get laid%", hell, there's a speedrun category for sharpening pencils.
2. parallel universes are a name for a weird quirk of how positioning in SM64's engine work and have nothing to do with real life quantum mechanics
3. this is actually not unhinged. it's entirely possible for something like a cosmic ray to flip a bit in memory. If memory weren't prone to interference from the environment, they wouldn't sell ECC memory – memory with error correction. We take computers for granted, let alone 25 year old computers, but making sand think requires very precise manufacturing and operation, in the case of memory we are talking about capacitors tens of nanometers wide. It's surprising weird shit doesn't happen more often.


+ Add a Comment

Comments (19)

Display Comments

Add a Comment

Yo Yo! You must login or signup first!