|Origin Story||none (originated from the Something Awful forums)|
Zalgo is an ominous entity believed to cause insanity, death and chaos. He is known by many titles including "He Who Waits Behind the Wall" and "the Nezperidian Hivemind of Chaos". Zalgo is often associated with scrambled text on webpages and edits of innocuous comic strips and cartoons done to make them seem horrific and Lovecraftian.
He is believed to relate to the death of the world, along with insanity, and unspeakable things. Most of the time disfiguration, gore, and dismemberment go along with the creature. Many who look upon him go insane.
Zalgo's coming is heralded by the fabric of reality itself snarling or screaming "He comes!" and the horrific mutation of web-comic characters and fonts. Gaping, toothy maws, stingers, and masses of tentacles are the norm. Invariably, the eyes turning to black slime and run down their cheeks like tears of oil. Fonts will scramble and lose coherence as well.
Generally speaking, most people do not agree on what Zalgo himself actually looks like, and portrayals vary greatly. In an early image, Zalgo is depicted as a jet-skinned knight in silver armor surrounded by a corona of black lightning. Later in the video Zalgo Invocation, he is described as having seven mouths speaking in six foul tongues, the seventh waiting to sing the song that will end the world, and four arms holding a dead star and a candle that sheds darkness rather than light. He has also been described as an amorphous, eyeless being. Since Zalgo is malevolent chaos incarnate, it is possible that all of these descriptions of the character are true, as well as countless others. Despite extreme differences in portrayals, Zalgo is commonly portrayed as being red and black and having a floating head.
Zalgo is the brainchild of Dave Kelly (aka "Shmorky"), a Flash animator and Something Awful "goon". It was first mentioned (but not seen) in parodies of syndicated newspaper comics on a semi-secret page on his official site.
Zalgo spread rapidly from there, with people making their edits of supposedly "Zalgo-fied" comics, writing creepypasta stories about him and continuing the lore.
Since the meme's spread, Shmorky has made several flash animations (in his own inimitable style, of course) referencing it, including ZALGO. On August 22nd, 2009, Shmorky explained the origin of Zalgo in a post on the SomethingAwful Forums:
"I like how people who try to figure out the origin of the “meme” don’t even know where it came from originally. I’ll tell you where it came from. From me. I just made it up. Zalgo is something horrible. Zalgo is something that’s coming. It’s coming soon. It has nothing to do with Lovecraft. I’m not nerdy enough to make those kind of references. Seeing it become a meme kinda killed doing further Zalgo edits in the future (for me anyway) but maybe I’ll do one when you least expect it."
According to Shmorky, Zalgo's abilities only affect comics, cartoons and illustrations, not reality itself. This idea has drifted out of favor with more recent stories portraying Zalgo as a powerful demonic being.
Who created them?Edit
Dave Kelly aka "Shmorky".