Wiki rabbit hole

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Illustration of a wiki rabbit hole for a t-shirt

The wiki rabbit hole is the learning pathway which a reader travels by navigating from topic to topic while browsing Wikipedia and other wikis. Other names for the concept include wiki black hole[1] and wikihole.[2] The metaphor of a hole comes from Lewis Carroll's 1865 novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, in which Alice begins an adventure by following the White Rabbit into his burrow.

When watching videos outside of Wikipedia, many people go to Wikipedia to get more information about what they watched and proceed into the wiki rabbit hole to topics progressively further removed from where they started.[3] Films based on historical people or events often initiate viewers to explore Wikipedia rabbit holes.[4]

Data visualizations showing the relationships between Wikipedia articles demonstrate pathways that readers can take to navigate from topic to topic.[5]

The Wikimedia Foundation publishes research on how readers enter rabbit holes.[6] Rabbit hole browsing behavior happens in various languages of Wikipedias.[7]

Wikipedia users have shared their rabbit hole experiences as part of Wikipedia celebrations as well as on social media.[8][9] Some people go to Wikipedia for the fun of seeking a rabbit hole.[10][11] Exploring the rabbit hole can be part of wikiracing.[12]

The satirical The Onion wrote in 2021 that Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales had been in a Wikipedia rabbit hole since 2001, but would now move on to other things, "as soon as he looked up one more thing."[13]


  1. ^ Stockton, Chrissy (4 January 2014). "The 10 Best Wikipedia Black Holes For Curious People (Who Have No Impulse Control)". Thought Catalog.
  2. ^ Bate, Ellie (12 September 2016). "19 Wikipedia Pages That'll Send You Into A Week-Long Wikihole". BuzzFeed.
  3. ^ Yahr, Emily (4 January 2018). "Do you fall down a Wikipedia rabbit hole after each episode of 'The Crown'? You're not alone". Washington Post.
  4. ^ Lia Beck (Aug 23, 2018). "13 Movies Based On True Stories With Wikipedia Rabbit Holes You'll Spend Hours On". Bustle.
  5. ^ Li, Shirley (12 December 2014). "WikiGalaxy: A Visualization of Wikipedia Rabbit Holes". The Atlantic.
  6. ^ Allemandou, Joseph; Popov, Mikhail; Taraborelli, Dario (16 January 2018). "New monthly dataset shows where people fall into Wikipedia rabbit holes – Wikimedia Blog".
  7. ^ Wang, Shan (16 March 2018). "Why do people go to Wikipedia? A survey suggests it's their desire to go down that random rabbithole". Nieman Lab. Nieman Foundation for Journalism.
  8. ^ Ars staff (16 January 2016). "On Wikipedia's 15th birthday, Ars shares the entries that most fascinate us". Ars Technica.
  9. ^ Howard, Dorothy (22 July 2015). "Feed my Feed: Radical publishing in Facebook Groups". Rhizome. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  10. ^ Bosch, Torie (25 January 2018). "Rabbit Holes: Exploring the Wikipedia Page of "People Who Disappeared Mysteriously."". Slate Magazine.
  11. ^ Entertainment, Thrillist (30 April 2020). "10 Outrageous Wikipedia Articles That Will Send You Down a Rabbit Hole". Thrillist.
  12. ^ "Down the Wikipedia Rabbit Hole: The Game! - On The Media - WNYC Studios". wnycstudios. 5 February 2015.
  13. ^ "Jimmy Wales Glances Up To Realize He Got Sucked Into Wikipedia Rabbit Hole For 20 Years". The Onion. 12 August 2021. Retrieved 13 August 2021.

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