When people on social media want to react to something they see with incredulity, they normally seek out a meme known as the blinking white guy.

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He has become a cornerstone of internet culture for millions - yet few people know his story, nor how he reached the dizzying heights of meme fame.

For the past two-and-a-half years, Drew Scanlon has pretty much been the official face of "what the f***?".


Recalling the moment that would become the stuff of internet legend, he recalled: "I don"t remember doing it at all.

"It was one joke in a two-hour stream that we did every week, and a very forgettable moment for me at the time."

He made the expression when his editor, Jeff Gerstmann, remarked to colleagues that he had been "doing some farming with my hoe here" while playing a game called Starbound.

Some four years later, for whatever reason, the startled face of Drew took on a life of its own as a GIF, which travelled like wildfire across social media.

Drew told occupychristmas.org occupychristmas.org: "There were animated GIFs made of us all the time, but this was the first one that jumped species from our own little video game community to the internet at large.

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"At first I didn"t see it in the wild for myself, only people who follow me on Twitter who sent it on to me. I had people saying stuff like, "my mum just sent this to me on Facebook, she doesn"t even know who you are".

"The first instance I saw it myself was a tweet someone made about biology. It was a good representation of how you could use the GIF as a punchline to a joke and it was impressive to see how many retweets it got."

me: ill take a biology class, im smart enough for this just watch meteacher: cellsme: pic.twitter.com/fHJJsPLioO