Most Surprising Facts about The Internet

The Internet is 11795 days old today.  What have you done today to make it better ?

Stacker has compiled a list of 50 fascinating facts about internet technology, culture, history, and more, using everything from Buzzfeed and Pew Research to the Internet Hall of Fame.

The term ‘internet’ was used for the first time in 1974

In 1974, the term “internet” was used for the first time to describe a growing network of linked computers around the world. The term contrasts with intranet, for example, meaning an internal rather than external network.

dot com

The first dot-com website was for a computer manufacturer

Computer manufacturer Symbolics registered the first “top level” domain,, in 1985. The company is gone and the domain has changed hands, but it has been active since 1985, making it the oldest exigent dot-com domain in the world. 25 Interesting facts you should know

First spam message

The first spam email was sent in 1978 by a computer seller

Buzzfeed reports the first spam message was sent in 1978 over ARPANET by a man named Gary Thuerk, a computer seller. That was just a few years after email was invented in the first place.

World wide web

The World Wide Web was coined by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989

1989 was a big year for internet inventor Tim Berners-Lee, who coined the term World Wide Web while working at CERN in Switzerland. A year later, he invented HTML, the markup language that turns plain text into—at the time—separate paragraphs and even lists.

Public internet

The public didn’t have access to the internet until 1991

Versions of the internet existed for over a decade before public users outside of university programs could finally get online in 1991. Most ISPs at the time sprung up in college towns, because that’s where existing networks and technology hubs were.

The term ‘surfing’ the internet was coined by blogger Net Mom in 1992

An early proto-blogger named Jean Armour Polly, using the handle “Net Mom,” was the first to say users were “surfing” the World Wide Web in 1992. That was just a year after public availability of the internet, which caused a tidal wave, so to speak, of new terminology.

The MP3 changed music in 1995

Engineer Karlheinz Brandenburg invented the MP3 audio format in 1995. Like the pixels of a digital camera, digital audio involves turning the smooth curves of real sounds into chunked, compressed sounds that make up reasonably sized files. MP3s were revolutionary for having a tiny size that retained listenable audio quality, as well as letting users tune just how much they wanted to compress the file versus keeping the sound quality.

Google was name after googol—a large number

In 1998, Google was founded as a revolutionary search engine in progress, named for the large number called a googol. Before Google, search engines were much patchier and often more like lists of recommended sites. Google’s technology used feedback, such as which results users really clicked on—even if those didn’t have the most appearances of search terms—to continue to improve its search results

Mark Zuckerberg was the 4th user to join Facebook

In Facebook profiles, each user is assigned a name based on when they joined. Mark Zuckerberg’s profile number ID is 4. The website was also originally called The Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg was the first person on Facebook with ID number 4 (the first three Facebook accounts were used for testing). The first non-founder to join Facebook was Arie Hasit (below), who is now in Israel studying to be a rabbi.

The first YouTube video was uploaded in 2005

YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim uploaded the first video to YouTube in 2005. In the video, Karim walks around the San Diego Zoo.

Twitter was originally called Twttr

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey also sent the first tweet on March 21, 2006. It’s hard to imagine in the politically fraught, 280-character Twitter climate of 2020, but the site—originally called Twttr—was a microblogging service full of people sharing just a few words in a more diary-like style. Everything else, from active links to multimedia, came later.


The first tweet was sent on March 21, 2006 by Jack Dorsey:

First tweet

 A single Google query uses 1,000 computers in 0.2 seconds to retrieve an answer.

The first website is still online

The first email was sent in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson to himself. He doesn’t remember what it said.

The first picture ever uploaded on the web was posted by Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web) on behalf of a comedy band called Les Horrible Cernettes.

The first sentence uttered on Skype was in Estonian in April 2003 by a member of the development team. It was ‘Tere, kas sa kuuled mind?’ or “Hello, can you hear me?” in English.

This is the NeXT computer that Tim Berners-Lee used to create the World Wide Web:

NexT computer

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