According to the recently acquired online database of internet culture Know Your Meme, Nyan Cat (aka Pop Tar Cat) is an “8-bit animation depicting a cat with the body of a cherry pop tart flying through outer space.”
On April 5, 2011, YouTuber saraj00n took an animated version of the cat flying through a starry background leaving rainbows in its wake and set it to the song Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya (which kinda sounds like the Meow Mix theme song on amphetamines).
Obviously, the video’s currently up to 17 million views. Give it a look:
I don’t get it either! But did you notice something particularly interesting about the clip above? Check out the progress bar. It’s a Nyan Cat leaving a rainbow in its wake! Pretty cool, right?
YouTube reps tell me the the custom progress bar is the latest in a series of shenanigans by the fast-moving and fun-loving engineering team at the world’s largest video sharing site. Previous quirky features meant for the explicit enjoyment of YouTube users include the Vuvuzela button, the playback option for comments, and The Onion’s “Actually Good” tab.
I’m not sure as to whether or not all the features above are part of Google’s 20% Rule, but all I know is I want more of them.