Annie Rauwerda

  • Words Tom Faber
  • Photography Emma Trim

What the depths of Wikipedia can teach us all about community.

Issue 50

, Features

  • Words Tom Faber
  • Photography Emma Trim

With almost seven million articles—in English alone—covering every subject imaginable, Wikipedia can teach you about more than just academic subjects and pop culture. If you’re willing to dig, it will also reveal to you the true extent of human absurdity.

Plumbing the online encyclopedia’s strangest corners is the specialty of 23-year-old Annie Rauwerda, whose social media account Depths of Wikipedia became a viral sensation over the pandemic. She unearthed pages most users would never come across, like an entry on “extreme ironing,” a sport practiced on mountaintops and motorways that “combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt”; the “bald-hairy pattern” which dictates that Russian leaders alternate according to...


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