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.

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.

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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10 Operatic Facts About "Bohemian Rhapsody"

Queen Official via YouTube
Queen Official via YouTube

"Bohemiam Rhapsody," Queen’s classic "mock opera," was released on October 31, 1975. Though the song was met with skepticism when played for preview audiences, it ended up spending nine weeks at number 1 on the UK charts in 1976. It currently ranks as the third best-selling UK single of all time (behind Elton John’s Princess Diana tribute “Candle in the Wind” and Band Aid’s holiday-made “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”) and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004. Here are some facts about the iconic song to consider the next time you’re hitting those “Galileo” high notes along with your car radio.

1. Freddie Mercury started writing "Bohemian Rhapsody" in 1968.

The story of “Bohemian Rhapsody”—or “Bo Rhap,” as it is known by Queen fans—began in 1968, when Freddie Mercury was a student at London’s Ealing Art College. He had come up with an opening line—“Mama, just killed a man”—but no melody. Because of the Old West feel (in his mind) to the lyric, he referred to his work in progress as “The Cowboy Song.”

2. Queen's producer was skeptical of "Bohemian Rhapsody"'s opera-like composition.

Roy Thomas Baker, who produced the band’s A Night at the Opera album, first heard the framework for "Bohemian Rhapsody" when he picked Freddie up at his Holland Road flat in London one evening before going out to dinner. Freddie led him to the piano to play the song he’d been working on. As Baker recalled of the scene, Freddie played the opening ballad section of the tune then stopped and exclaimed, “And this is where the opera section comes in!” Baker laughed at the time, but when Freddie came to the studio days later armed with various pieces of paper with notes and doodles outlining his composition, the producer determined to use all his talent and equipment to capture Mercury’s vision on tape.

3. Freddie Mercury was always adding another "Galileo."

In 1975, “state-of-the-art” recording meant 24-track analog tape. The harmonies on the opera section (all sung by Mercury, drummer Roger Taylor, and guitarist Brian May) required 180 separate overdubs, and eventually the tape had been run over the recording heads so many times that it became almost transparent. In the end it took three weeks (Mercury was always adding “another ‘Galileo,'” Baker explained) and five different studios to complete the track.

4. Elton John thought "Bohemian Rhapsody" was too "weird" for the radio.

Prior to its release, Queen’s manager played a rough mix of the song to one of his other high-profile clients, Elton John, to get his opinion. “Are you f*cking mad?” was the singer’s reaction after listening to the nearly six-minute song. His verdict: it was too long and too “weird” for radio.

5. The huge success of "Bohemian Rhapsody" is due in part to one DJ.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” owes part of its success to British DJ Kenny Everett, who had a popular morning radio show on Capital Radio. In early October 1975, EMI was still pressuring Queen to release “You’re My Best Friend” as the first single from A Night at the Opera. Everett got his hands on an early pressing of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” with strict instructions not to broadcast it (wink, wink). Somehow, strictly by accident (his finger must have slipped), he played the song 14 times over the course of two days. Callers flooded the radio station and local record stores with requests for the song, so the suits at EMI relented and released the magnum opus as a single.

6. Promoting "Bohemian Rhapsody" proved problematic.

After it was decided to release “Bohemian Rhapsody” as a single, the band was faced with a bit of a dilemma: At the time in England, it was traditional for bands to appear on shows like Top of the Pops to promote their latest hits. But Queen was scheduled to begin a tour soon, plus (as Brian May admitted) they’d feel self-conscious miming to the operatic section. They solved the problem by filming a promotional film, or “pop promo” as it was called in the industry lingo of the time, that could be shown not only on UK music shows, but also around the world in other markets, such as American Bandstand.

7. It took just under four hours to film the video for "Bohemian Rhapsody."

The band arrived at Elstree Studios (using the same stage they were using to rehearse for their upcoming tour) at 7:30 in the morning, and were finished and relaxing at the local pub by 11:30 a.m. The total cost of the video was £4500, or about $2025. This was the first music video directed by Bruce Gowers, and the success of that clip eventually prompted him to move to Hollywood, where he went on to direct such TV programs as the MTV Movie Awards, the Primetime Emmy Awards, the People's Choice Awards and the first 10 seasons of American Idol.

8. The "Bohemian Rhapsody" scene in Wayne's World took 10 hours to film.

The classic scene in the 1992 film Wayne’s World, on the other hand, took 10 hours to film. Dana Carvey didn’t learn the lyrics ahead of time, and if you watch closely you can see that he’s often just randomly moving his mouth while “singing” along. (And all the actors complained of neck pain after headbanging through so many takes.)

9. A symphonic gong was added to Roger Taylor's drum kit for "Bohemian Rhapsody."

When the band launched their tour to support A Night at the Opera, Roger Taylor’s drum kit was outfitted with a 60-inch symphonic gong (which had to be cleaned, packed, and set up on each date) just so he could strike that final note in “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

10. A blue vinyl pressing of "Bohemian Rhapsody" is worth more than $5000.

The Holy Grail in terms of Queen collectibles is a 7-inch limited edition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” that was pressed in blue vinyl. In the summer of 1978, EMI Records won the Queen’s Award To Industry For Export Achievement (that’s “Queen” as in Her Majesty Elizabeth II). The label’s primary reason for sales in far-reaching territories that lacked manufacturing facilities was Queen, as in the band. To celebrate their prestigious award, EMI pressed 200 copies of “Bohemian Rhapsody” in blue vinyl, each of which was hand-numbered. Numbers one through four went to the band members, of course, while other low-numbered copies were given to friends and family members. Bona fide copies from this original pressing currently sell for upwards of $5000.

Additional sources: Queen: As It Began, by Jacky Smith and Jim Jenkins Is This the Real Life? The Untold Story of Queen, by Mark Blake Queen: The Story of Bohemian Rhapsody
The Making of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’”

This story has been updated for 2020.