Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is best known for, well, founding Facebook.
But if you had to pick something for the #2 spot in the list of what Zuck's famous for, it would be a deeply bizarre, profoundly creepy viral image of him surfing in Hawaii last summer with enough sunscreen on his face for the entire Facebook workforce.
At long last, Zuckerberg has explained what that whole thing was about, and while it's not the weirdest explanation (water-borne mime class) it is still very, very weird.
As Zuckerberg put it to Mosseri:
"I noticed there was this paparazzi guy following us, and, so I was like, 'Oh, I don't want him to recognize me, so you know what I'm gonna do? I'm just gonna put a ton of sunscreen on my face."
Well, turning yourself in Marcel Marceau is surely one way to throw off the papparizzi, right? Except for the fact that, of course, it had the opposite effect, making him arguably even more recognizable as Mark Zuckerberg by turning himself into Mark Zuckerberg in Joker cosplay.
Zuck himself admitted that it was not his best-laid plan.
"...[T]hat backfired... The delta between how cool you think you look and the worst photo a paparazzi can take is pretty funny."
You can say that again--the internet had an absolute field day with the sunscreen photo, giving birth to gazillions of memes comparing him to everyone from Halloween killer Michael Myers to Mrs. Doubtfire and even a molting lizard. Thankfully, Zuckerberg has a sense of humor about the whole thing.
As he told Mosseri:
"If someone wants to post a sunscreen meme, it's cool. I'm happy to give the internet some laughs."
Good thing, because the internet is now laughing about it anew.
@alexeheath @mosseri "Oh that's just Pierre, the local surfing mime"— Haldun (@Haldun)1619548671.0
Proving that his ability to see an issue coming and effectively get ahead of it is forever on point. https://t.co/zqFEjMY4yM— Siri Agrell (@Siri Agrell)1619551226.0
@Complex MF we knew that was still him.— Albert G. (@Albert G.)1619567881.0
@alexeheath @mosseri Or is that a deep fake of Marcel Marceau?— Jenni Olson (@Jenni Olson)1619590985.0
Billionaires are billionaires because they have better ideas. Billionaire ideas: https://t.co/2GI2WCvwqV— Black Lives Matter KC (@Black Lives Matter KC)1619568047.0
@alexeheath @mosseri 🤣 https://t.co/GG914SXh6a— Francois Laberge (@Francois Laberge)1619548051.0
Seeing that Zuckerberg sunscreen photo in the news again reminded me that I've been wanting to Photoshop him into t… https://t.co/h4oeDtu9xr— Buzz Andersen (@Buzz Andersen)1619636682.0
@alexeheath @mosseri "I believed the full inch of sunscreen would confuse their sensors as it confused mine."— Chris (@Chris)1619551493.0
@nypost Because he’s a replicant?— Scot (@Scot)1619631736.0
@alexeheath @TaylorLorenz @mosseri turns out you *can* be the opposite of an influencer— nnnnicholas.eth⛱ (@nnnnicholas.eth⛱)1619547559.0
@DailyMail The rust protection fooled no one. Still, what an android does in its spare time is its own business.— Geezheeztall🇨🇦 (@Geezheeztall🇨🇦)1619637819.0
So for future reference, turning yourself into a ghostly apparition from the depths of hell riding atop a surf board is not an effective way to evade photographs—make a note of it.