Thousands Are Watching This Crazy Boring Live Feed From Jackson Hole and No One Knows Why
There's no catch. Jackson Hole, Wyoming has a few live feeds set up around town intended to encourage tourism. There's not much there that should inspire a trip to the sleepy town, yet thousands of people are tuning in to watch a relatively mundane intersection in Jackson Hole and no one is really sure why.
The city has a handful of live streams and most are hovering between one viewer (ahem, hello) and 10. But this random intersection consistently maintains over a thousand viewers. In fact, at 1:30am ET when this is being written there are over 1,600 viewers watching the intersection where there is literally nothing happening for minutes on end. That makes it relatively exciting when a single car passes through once every 15 minutes to stop at the light and then move along. During the day, the number has been significantly higher.
There it is. Seriously, what the hell is going on?
As best as can be understood at this point, it started to garner attention when a user posted a link to the live stream on 4Chan and said they'd be traveling to Jackson Hole to do something in front of the camera. From there it moved to Reddit.
It gained enough popularity that it hit YouTube's recommended videos, making it into their recommendation engine based on the number of people watching and how long they were watching.
The comments section is filled with activity, flying by so fast that it's hard to keep up with the live commentary on... nothing much. "Flashing light = stop sign," says one commenter. "The arch is trying to talk to us," says another. "RED LIGHT," says yet another.
WHY ARE LIVESTREAMS OF THE TOWN OF JACKSON HOLE ALL OVER MY RECOMMENDED— ʕ·͡ᴥ·ʔ 0 (@Mxrshll) September 4, 2016
Some people are very confused why it's popping up, others are totally addicted to it as some kind of accidental "slow TV" moment. Others still have started worshipping red trucks that pass through the intersection. And that's not a joke. Watch. Just keep watching and wait for a red truck to pass through and watch the comments explode.
In fact, the red truck phenomenon has gotten to the point where, at one point, a resident (presumably) dangled a toy red truck in front of the camera each time a red truck passed. At another moment, someone (maybe the same mystery person behind the dangling toy truck) held up a piece of cardboard that says "RED TRUCK IS LIFE."
There's even a change.org petition to start a red truck parade in Jackson Hole.
It's not clear why this Jackson Hole live stream has blown up, but it's entrancing. All of it. The weird Pleasantville Americana of it. The weird internet obsessions with red trucks. Or the tension of waiting for the next person to pass who is cognizant of what is happening at this intersection because residents aren't unaware of the phenomena.
Some are playing jokes in front of it. Some wave to the camera. Some must hate it, because at some point after its popularity exploded a store that Atlas Obscura says is called Jackson Trading Company, asked to have their sign blurred out of the stream.
There is no answer to the why, but you start to feel it once you're sucked into the live stream of Jackson Hole.
i hope everyone in jackson hole is having a pleasant night— walker godfrey (@walkselizabeth) September 7, 2016
How can I explain to bae that I can't come out to meet the family for the first time, because I'm watching the Jackson Hole livestream?— ADoug (@ADoug) September 7, 2016
Does anyone KNOW what the arch at the Jackson Hole intersection is?— Coolthandelus EX (@brightsuzaku) September 7, 2016
Aside from an all-consuming beast that blesses us w/ red trucks, that is
Dustin Nelson is a News Writer with Thrillist. He holds a Guinness World Record, but has never met the fingernail lady. He’s written for Sports Illustrated, Men’s Journal, The Rumpus, and other digital wonderlands. Follow him @dlukenelson.