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Mark Zuckerberg Explains Bizarre Reason Why He Had An Ungodly Amount Of Sunscreen On His Face In Viral Photo

Pavlo Conchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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.


According to comments he gave on an Instagram Live appearance with Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri, the reason for Zuck's deathly white sunscreen face is very simple: He was trying to throw off the paparazzi.

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.












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.