Numbers Stations: Always Awesome.

"Turn off the lights. And drink a cold glass of water. Something is going to happen. In sixty-five days."

Since 2010, a YouTube channel called Pronunciation Book has regularly posted videos with a simple white background and a word in black font. Over it, a voice teaches non-English speakers how to say certain words and phrases in English -- "Sausage McMuffin" or "yield." The young male voice also teaches viewers how to have simple English interactions like "How to State an Unpleasant Fact" and "How to Politely End a Business Meeting."

In the past three years, this channel has posted more than 700 videos, gained 27,000 subscribers, and even inspired a parody account. But a week ago Pronunciation Book abruptly stopped what it'd been doing and started posting one creepy, cryptic video a day, counting down from "77" until Sept. 24, 2013. The videos show the number and then the same voice delivers a couple of seemingly random sentences and then ominously concludes, "Something is going to happen in X days."

It's an unexpected and bizarre about-face that makes little sense and is a little bit scary.

The only people that seem to be dissecting this weirdness is 4chan's /x/ board, devoted to conspiracy theories and the paranormal. /x/ has compiled the "77 Days Research Document," a 36-page Google Doc where the members of the board have pooled their information about Pronunciation Book. They're trying to uncover who is behind the channel, what the cryptic messages mean, and anything else they can find to make sense of the channel's abrupt change.

The messages in the countdown videos thus far have been:

77: "Something is going to happen in 77 days."
76: "I've been trying to tell you something for 1,183 days."
75: "I'm awake now. Things are clearing up. I'm not saying the words anymore."
74: "I've got a minute, let me tell you what I think is going on."
73: "Tension between the districts has spiked in the last few months."
72: "You can see it in the markets. Everyone's ready for a storm."
69: "No one is ready. He watches the market."
68: "I'm not talking about a disaster, I'm talking about a love triangle."
67: "We fell into the jungle for a summer of dollar crime."
66: "We were young heroes, gorgeous liars."
65: "Turn off the lights, and drink a cold glass of water."
64: "No one is singing. Every day is the same."

Previously, previously, previously.
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17 Responses:

  1. John Bloom says:

    I hate that I'm so jaded that my absolute first thought was "Probably viral marketing."

    • gryazi says:

      There's something nostalgic about watching a bunch of 12 year olds try to figure it out, though.

    • rjp says:

      If it is, they deserve a medal for putting some actual effort in (3 years!)

      • John Bloom says:

        I guess that's a good point. I think I glossed over that bit. If it is actually viral marketing though, they could have just bought out the original owner of the channel.

  2. Edouard says:

    So, wow. The /x/ document is pretty amazing, and the background clicks forming an image? Wow.

    • Space Hobo says:

      It looks to me like someone in a Kitchener poster pose: pointing to the viewer.

  3. James says:

    All the edits in the Google Doc's revision history appear to be by the same user.

  4. Adam Jones says:

    "a little bit scary"

    really ?

    • Pavel says:

      We need better vocabulary. I'd say it's creepy, or maybe unsettling. It's scary like an Edgar Allan Poe story is scary.

  5. Joe says:

    "I feel fantastic."

  6. Marlee says:

    Someone pointed this out to me and now looking at a bunch of them together, it does kind of sound like the Hunger Games. Although, I hope it's something more interesting than marketing for Catching Fire or whatever.

  7. ardgedee says:

    Now the Daily Dot thinks it's a viral for a Battlestar Galactica reboot.

    • MattyJ says:

      September 24th is a Tuesday, so perhaps just the announcement of a serious or maybe the release of a secret video game? Those always come out on a Tuesday.

  8. Lina says:

    Obviously it's in celebration of my mother's birthday.

  9. Neal C says:

    Ahaah, now this Pronunciation Manual video makes "sense"...

    (if you're unaware, this channel is a parody of the other one...)