Could this be another harbinger of a post (first time ever using that word) on the dearth of image attribution? Heck yes. But not because of the lack of giving credit where it ought to be, more so because with with context-less shared media the cut off at the knees of curiosity of learning anything more about it.

This is what we get for the fast pace and virality of media pushed across twitter, Facebook, et al. There is just no room or maybe affordance to let anyone know where it came from. So instead, we just keep re-sharing, moving it even farther from where it ever came from.

Share. Like. Favorite. Retweet. Reblog. Re-re

Giphy GIF made from Epitaph Records “Falling In Reverse – ‘Just Like You’ (Extended Version)”

Did you notice my context?

This started with a rather eye catching GIF Simon Ensor shared at the end of a looooooooong overloaded twitter canoe of a conversation.

I actually did Favorite it to remember it, that play with text is an interesting effect. My first glance made an assumption it was computer generated.

But when I look closer I can see gears or cogs that are rotating, suggesting it might be a real world object, that the GIF is from a video.

The first clue is in the bottom right corner, an overlay that says GIFsBOOM.NET. That’s a bit URL muddying; I have used and taught with the GIFBOOM app.

Curiously, leads to a not found message in tumblr. Hmmm, next I search google for gifsboom and find an array of places, a YouTube Channel, Facebook page, pinterest page, but nothing that can help me find that one GIF.

I try again in google but this time on gifsboom open close and BOOM (no GIF) second link finds the open/close GIF in giphy (maybe that’s where Simon found it).

Previously giphy had a visible link if there was a source for a GIF, but alas, no more. But often the GIF itself leads to a source, and this one goes to … which is a dead link in tumblr.

So try something new, I download the GIF

The Open/Close gif, downloaded from

and try it as a source in Google reverse image search (I ever tried it with a GIF).


Google suggests the image has something to do with diy escape room ideas which I am a bit unsure what it means. But it hits the image/gif on a string of web sites about… escape rooms.

Now I have no idea where this is going, but I am all in. I am in pursuitof knowledge

I follow a link to a Quora question “What are puzzle ideas for real escape rooms?” (and me still not being too sure what ‘escape rooms’ are, yes I can imagine).

And there I find it, quite a few scrolls down, not as a GIF but a series of 3 images:

posted by “Sergio Zammit, cofounder”.

Now I find myself, almost not caring about the GIF anymore, exploring Book Escape Rooms “Puzzle Escape Rooms around the world”. And now I know (well it confirms what I guessed), that:

Puzzle escape rooms are a real life logic challenge which you can solve as a couple or a group. Rooms and puzzles are themed in a certain way, such as New York 1930s office, a jail cell or a pirate ship, to mention a few. Players enter a room and the room is locked. The goal is to find the key or code to open the door, but this is not simple. The process of finding the final key or code involves solving many clues, puzzles and riddles.

The standard duration for exit rooms games is 60 minutes, however some rooms offer slightly different durations. Each game is unique, however once you succeeded to escape one room you would not want to play the same room again.

It’s a bit of a game played out in real life where you have to figure out clues on how to “escape” a room. And I know now where to go to book one.

And so I never found the amphibian or the source of the open/close gif, but picked up a few tidbits of other semi-random information. And as always, practiced some sleuthing.

The chase of image sources is not always about finding the source, sometimes it’s just about the looking, and the unexpected side journeys.

Featured Image: L’Insurrection de l’Institut Amphibie – The Pursuit of Knowledge by James Gillray is in the Public Domain. I never thought I would find such a visceral image just searching for open licensed images for “pursuit”. Sometimes you find the amphibians and sometimes they find you. This media has wallops of context, eh?

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. No problem, it’s interesting when you can see the path an image has travelled on (and the documenting of changes in use and meaning), in this case from a Japanese mime artist with an interest in the transformation of objects to becoming a widespread representation for puzzle escape rooms. Mind you, that also says a lot about the lack of diversity in top search engine results these days! It only took two minutes but needed luck and intuition to find the link on page 18 of the Google search : (

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