Depths of Wikipedia

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Depths of Wikipedia
The account's logo, featuring the Wikipedia logo with a crown on top
Instagram information
Created byAnnie Rauwerda
Followers1.2 million
(February 28, 2023)

Depths of Wikipedia is a group of social media accounts dedicated to highlighting strange, obscure, and interesting facts from Wikipedia. Created on Instagram by Annie Rauwerda in 2020, the account shares excerpts from various Wikipedia articles on humorous or absurd topics.


Rauwerda in 2022

Annie Rauwerda (/ˈr.ərdə/[1]), a then-neuroscience major at the University of Michigan,[2][3][4] created the Depths of Wikipedia Instagram account in April 2020 as a personal project at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,[5] intending to share strange, surprising, and interesting facts from the English Wikipedia[2] among friends.[5] According to Rauwerda, the project was inspired by a collage of excerpts from Wikipedia she had made for a friend's zine,[3] and by a photograph from the Wikipedia article on cow tipping.[3] She had been interested in Wikipedia before beginning the project, spending time reading it as a child[2] and Wikiracing with friends in middle and high school.[6] Rauwerda has hosted a Wikipedia editing workshop and live comedy shows in connection with Depths of Wikipedia.[7]

Instagram influencer Caroline Calloway brought Depths of Wikipedia its first wave of followers, publicizing the account's posts favorably after resolving an incident in which Rauwerda had posted about Calloway's Wikipedia page.[5][6]

After her Instagram account gained followers, Rauwerda created TikTok and Twitter accounts of the same name,[5] and launched a newsletter covering unusual Wikipedia pages in greater detail.[6]


An image of a cow on Wikipedia, with the caption "A healthy cow lying on her side is not immobilized; she can rise whenever she chooses."
Rauwerda has cited this image and caption, taken from the article on cow tipping, as an inspiration for Depths of Wikipedia.[3]

Depths of Wikipedia has highlighted articles on topics including exploding trousers, Nuclear Gandhi,[2] chess on a really big board, and sexually active popes.[8]

According to Rauwerda, she often receives submissions of Wikipedia articles to feature, but is selective in choosing which to post.[5] In October 2021, she said she was getting "probably 30 to 50 user submissions per day."[6]

Mimicking his photo on the Wikipedia page for shrug, "Shrug Guy" re-creates his 2006 shrug photo at Depths of Wikipedia's Boston show in 2022.

A Wikipedia editor herself,[2] Rauwerda has hosted an edit-a-thon, welcoming new contributions to the encyclopedia,[3] as well as live comedy shows based on trivia from Wikipedia.[6][5][9]

On April 19, 2023, the Depths of Wikipedia Instagram account was suspended for an unspecified violation of "community guidelines on business integrity."[10] The account was restored two days later.


Notable followers of the Depths of Wikipedia account include Neil Gaiman, John Mayer, Troye Sivan, and Olivia Wilde.[8][11]

According to Heather Woods, a professor of rhetoric and technology at Kansas State University, Depths of Wikipedia "makes the internet feel smaller" by "offering attractive—or sometimes hilariously unattractive—entry points to internet culture".[5] Zachary McCune, the brand director of the Wikimedia Foundation, which funds and hosts Wikipedia, called the account "a place where Wikipedia comes to life, like an after-hours tour of the best of Wikipedia".[5]

Rauwerda was named the 2022 Media Contributor of the Year at the annual Wikimedian of the Year awards.[12]

See also[edit]

Wikipedia:Unusual Articles - Wikipedia's own list of topics deemed unusual by the userbase.


  1. ^ Dzotsi, Emmanuel; Goldman, Alex; Nederveen-Pieterse, Kim (June 9, 2022). "#188 Into the Depths". Reply All (Podcast). Gimlet Media. Event occurs at 1:24. Retrieved September 5, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e Shamani, Joshi (January 13, 2022). "I Look For the Weirdest and Wildest Things on Wikipedia. Here's What I've Learned". Vice. Archived from the original on January 25, 2022. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e Stiernberg, Bonnie (January 15, 2021). "How One Instagram Account Finds the Weirdest Stuff on Wikipedia". InsideHook. Archived from the original on October 31, 2021. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
  4. ^ Agarwal, Aashna (January 5, 2021). "The Viral Instagram Page Diving Into the Depths of Wikipedia". Lithium Magazine. Archived from the original on November 2, 2021. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Kambhampaty, Anna P. (March 31, 2022). "Want to See the Weirdest of Wikipedia? Look No Further". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 31, 2022. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e Cavender, Elena (October 24, 2021). "Travel down a Wikipedia rabbit hole with the mastermind behind DepthsOfWikipedia Instagram". Mashable. Archived from the original on October 26, 2021. Retrieved October 26, 2021.
  7. ^ "Depths of Wikipedia Edit-a-thon — Programs & Events Dashboard". Retrieved February 22, 2023.
  8. ^ a b Dunn, Frankie (March 16, 2021). "This Instagram account dug up the weirdest things on Wikipedia". i-D. Archived from the original on March 19, 2021. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
  9. ^ Zhou, Naaman (April 25, 2022) [April 18, 2022]. "Wikipedia, In The Flesh". The New Yorker. Condé Nast. p. 19. Archived from the original on April 18, 2022. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  10. ^ Depths of Wikipedia [@depthsofwiki] (April 19, 2023). "guys what do you do if your instagram account gets zucked and you don't know why" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  11. ^ Bryant, Aidan (May 11, 2021). "Journey To the 'Depths of Wikipedia'". F Newsmagazine. Archived from the original on October 8, 2021. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  12. ^ "Celebrating the 2022 Wikimedians of the Year!". Diff. Wikimedia Foundation. August 14, 2022. Retrieved August 14, 2022.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]