8 Catchy Facts About "Baby Shark"

Pinkfong! Kids' Songs & Stories, YouTube
Pinkfong! Kids' Songs & Stories, YouTube

Not since a chorus of children began admonishing radio listeners to dial 1-877-Kars-4-Kids has a song burrowed into the public consciousness quite like “Baby Shark” (doo doo do doo doo do!). The tot-friendly tune about congenial sharks searching for a meal has racked up over 2 billion YouTube views to become one of the site's top-viewed videos of all time. It also shows no signs of abating anytime soon: Netflix plans on streaming a series of shorts that will flesh out the carnivorous adventures of the title character. In December, Baby Shark toys sold out on Amazon in two days. There can be no escape.

For more on this earwig, check out what we’ve learned about its origins, its legal struggles, and why children can’t seem to get enough of it.

1. No one knows who wrote "Baby Shark."

The person or persons responsible for “Baby Shark” will never be brought to any kind of justice, since no one is sure who they are. The song is believed to have originated as a chant at summer camps—the kind of silly recitation that’s easy to remember and follow along with in groups. Because it didn’t need instrumental accompaniment, virtually any kid could join in.

2. "Baby Shark" is the subject of copyright controversy.

Although the lyrics to “Baby Shark” are in the public domain, the song has still produced warring factions of performers who are looking for a piece of the profits. In 2011, musician Johnny Only recorded a version of the song and uploaded it to YouTube. In 2016, South Korea-based educational content producer Pinkfong created the most well-known version to date. Only thought their rendition bore striking similarities to his, including the same key, tempo change, and rhythm. Only alleges that a political party in South Korea contacted him for permission to use the song. When he responded it was free for anyone to use, the party did, and SmartStudy—which owns Pinkfong—threatened the candidates with legal action. That motivated Only to find out if he had any claim under the idea that a freely-available song can be copyrighted if it has a unique arrangement; SmartStudy asserts that they’re the rightful owner. Only is asking a Korean court to decide who’s right.

3. Pinkfong's version of "Baby Shark" cracked the Billboard Hot 100.

According to Billboard, the song debuted on the Kid Digital Song Sales chart in July 2018 before cracking the Hot 100 the week of January 12. It debuted at No. 32 thanks to its "continued streaming growth as well as the freefall of 23 seasonal titles off the Hot 100 this week post-holidays."

4. There’s a reason "Baby Shark" is so catchy.

Like many songs targeted at children, “Baby Shark” relies on simple repetition to make sure it stays in the ears—and on the lips—of listeners. Because kids have a limited vocabulary, it’s easier for them to follow along to upbeat music with a predictable melody. They also appear to respond to the familiar domestic dynamic—there’s a baby shark, a daddy shark, a grandma shark, and so on. But there’s also a little neurological tickling at work. Valorie Salimpoor, a neuroscientific consultant, told the Daily Beast that kids bopping along to catchy music have increased activity in their dopaminergic system, eliciting feelings of pleasure. (The same goes for adults!) Essentially, your kids listening to it over and over again reinforces them to listen to it even more—like some hellish feedback loop.

5. "Baby Shark" was originally much more disturbing.

An assortment of 'Baby Shark' stuffed toys is displayed at Toy Fair
Leon Neal, Getty Images

The protagonists of “Baby Shark” are fairly reserved by shark standards. But some of the original lyrics detailed a much more violent premise, with human prey losing limbs in a blood orgy that ended in death. While that amused campers, Only realized it wouldn’t fly with toddlers. He removed the shark attack element, homogenizing the song for tiny ears.

6. "Baby Shark" was a dance hit in Germany.

Germans got a sneak preview of “Baby Shark” hysteria as far back as 2007, when the song was rendered a cappella by Alexandra Müller. “Kleiner Hai” was a little more ferocious in nature than Only’s version—the track included a screaming swimmer—and became a dance hit. EMI bought the rights and infused it with music reminiscent of the theme from 1975’s Jaws. While EMI brought it to a wider international audience, its popularity faded after a year or so.

7. There's a "Baby Shark" challenge ...

It started with people getting out of their cars and doing the "Baby Shark" dance moves (sometimes dressed as a shark) but has since expanded to people practicing CPR to the song and incorporating the moves into Zumba routines.

8. ... and a "Baby Shark" live show.

Do not be surprised if your child comes to you one day with a request to take a family vacation to South Korea. Pinkfong is promoting a Baby Shark touring live show that features the titular sea monster going missing and being tracked down by his family. It runs 65 minutes, or 63 more than the “Baby Shark” video. You've been warned.

7 Top-Rated Portable Air Conditioners You Can Buy Right Now

Black + Decker/Amazon
Black + Decker/Amazon

The warmest months of the year are just around the corner (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway), and things are about to get hot. To make indoor life feel a little more bearable, we’ve rounded up a list of some of the top-rated portable air conditioners you can buy online right now.

1. SereneLife 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner; $290

SereneLife air conditioner on Amazon.
SereneLife/Amazon

This device—currently the best-selling portable air conditioner on Amazon—is multifunctional, cooling the air while also working as a dehumidifier. Reviewers on Amazon praised this model for how easy it is to set up, but cautioned that it's not meant for large spaces. According to the manufacturer, it's designed to cool down rooms up to 225 square feet, and the most positive reviews came from people using it in their bedroom.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Black + Decker 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner and Heater; $417

Black + Decker portable air conditioner
Black+Decker/Amazon

Black + Decker estimates that this combination portable air conditioner and heater can accommodate rooms up to 350 square feet, and it even comes with a convenient timer so you never have to worry about forgetting to turn it off before you leave the house. The setup is easy—the attached exhaust hose fits into most standard windows, and everything you need for installation is included. This model sits around four stars on Amazon, and it was also picked by Wirecutter as one of the best values on the market.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Mikikin Portable Air Conditioner Fan; $45

Desk air conditioner on Amazon
Mikikin/Amazon

This miniature portable conditioner, which is Amazon's top-selling new portable air conditioner release, is perfect to put on a desk or end table as you work or watch TV during those sweltering dog days. It's currently at a four-star rating on Amazon, and reviewers recommend filling the water tank with a combination of cool water and ice cubes for the best experience.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Juscool Portable Air Conditioner Fan; $56

Juscool portable air conditioner.
Juscool/Amazon

This tiny air conditioner fan, which touts a 4.6-star rating, is unique because it plugs in with a USB cable, so you can hook it up to a laptop or a wall outlet converter to try out any of its three fan speeds. This won't chill a living room, but it does fit on a nightstand or desk to help cool you down in stuffy rooms or makeshift home offices that weren't designed with summer in mind.

Buy it: Amazon

5. SHINCO 8000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner; $320

Shinco portable air conditioner
SHINCO/Amazon

This four-star-rated portable air conditioner is meant for rooms of up to 200 square feet, so think of it for a home office or bedroom. It has two fan speeds, and the included air filter can be rinsed out quickly underneath a faucet. There's also a remote control that lets you adjust the temperature from across the room. This is another one where you'll need a window nearby, but the installation kit and instructions are all included so you won't have to sweat too much over setting it up.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Honeywell MN Series Portable Air Conditioner and Dehumidifier; $400

Honeywell air conditioner on Walmart.
Honeywell/Walmart

Like the other units on this list, Honeywell's portable air conditioner also acts as a dehumidifier or a standard fan when you just want some air to circulate. You can cool a 350-square-foot room with this four-star model, and there are four wheels at the bottom that make moving it from place to place even easier. This one is available on Amazon, too, but Walmart has the lowest price right now.

Buy it: Walmart

7. LG 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner; $699

LG Portable Air Conditioner.
LG/Home Depot

This one won't come cheap, but it packs the acclaim to back it up. It topped Wirecutter's list of best portable air conditioners and currently has a 4.5-star rating on Home Depot's website, with many of the reviews praising how quiet it is while it's running. It's one of the only models you'll find compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, and it can cool rooms up to 500 square feet. There's also the built-in timer, so you can program it to go on and off whenever you want.

Buy it: Home Depot

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New Virtual Tool Lets You Rickroll Your Next Zoom Meeting

YouTube
YouTube

Anyone who says the Rickroll is played out isn't thinking big enough. The classic internet prank—in which web users are tricked into watching the music video for "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley—has been reimagined countless times in a variety of contexts. Now, Rickrolling has entered the Zoom era.

As Gizmodo reports, creative technologist Matt Reed has invented a genius tool that lets you Rickroll your coworkers. After receiving an invitation to a Zoom meeting you're not excited to attend, head to InviteRick.com and submit the invite link.

The tool is still in beta, and Reed has to initiate every Rickroll manually. That means Rick is only available to make surprise Zoom performances on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST. Once you've signed up for the service, you'll be added to a queue and updated on when to expect Rick to make his appearance. When the pop icon does eventually crash your Zoom, he'll stick around for approximately 15 seconds before making his exit. Hopefully that's enough time to completely derail the meeting.

InviteRick.com may only be around for a short while (Reed admits it likely violates Zoom's terms of service), so spread that '80s corniness while you still can. In the meantime, check out these epic Rickrolls from a simpler time in history.

[h/t Gizmodo]