I love Tumblr. Basically, without Tumblr I wouldn’t be here today. By “here,” I mean writing this article because I got my start as a writer making funny posts on Tumblr. I do wonder, however, if it weren’t for Tumblr would I have survived my 20s. It was lonely out there, and thankfully, people on the internet were finding their people by the tens of thousands. The darker side of the coin, though, is the weird Tumblr communities.
For every wholesome post on the website, there were roughly 60 pages that exclusively hosted Spongebob porn GIFs. You’d click from a single-serving humor blog, and find yourself in an unholy Furry account’s feed. It was a trip, man. Guess you had to be there.
Thankfully, people remembered to compile lists of these weird Tumblr communities before Yahoo! bought the site and stripped it of its oddness.
Here are the strangest Tumblr communities that actually existed on the website:
1. “Columbiners” – Mass Shooting Enthusiasts
There are people out there still picking apart the shooting. Honestly, it’s an important moment in American history to remember. I didn’t let it occupy a lot of brain space when I was in high school (there was the whole 9/11 thing that sorta washed away other traumatic violent events like the Oklahoma City Bombing. I remember exactly where I was when that happened, but it was nothing like 9/11.). But when the US government basically did nothing to stop future shootings, it became the standard model for how the media and the world reacted to a “senseless act of violence.”
There are plenty of people “just doing research on the event like “5Tray 3u11eTin” that says upfront “I do not condone…” However, there are plenty of people who love true crime and extol the virtues of being an outcast with violent thoughts, and their voices are well represented on the site. A great book that cuts through all the B.S. is Dave Cullen’s Columbine. I’d suggest reading that than digging through this Tumblr subculture.
“How does a human have sex with a God/spirit?” Although I am not in a marital relationship with a Deity, I do have sex with Gods as part of my devotional work. Heck, Loki once made me have sex with Ratatosk (yes, a squirrel; I was a squirrel at the time, it’s a long story)” –sexgodsrockstars
I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Mostly, the kind of people who believe they can have sex with ghosts also believe that the stories about Zeus coming down from on high to take the form of a goose and have sex with a human is, in fact, real. Not all of them agree that you can have direct contact, but rather a “long-distance thing” with Hermes, while others are like “nah, I banged the God of War and lived to tell about it.” Strange stuff.
3. Furby Fandom
LOL. Remember Furbies? Tumblr remembers. They’ve got a long list of Furby enthusiasts. The above photo shows a movie that came out this very week that couldn’t be enjoyed without the Furbies alongside the owner.
Let’s take a moment to gaze upon the best thing Tumblr hath wrought: the ‘Long Furby.”
Grown men… who like My Little Pony. Bronies. A friend of mine recently told me that there’s a new kid on the block: dads who were caught up in the “Tolkienesque” My Little Pony TV series that they watched with their daughters. The New York Times gave voice to such men. Tumblr, however, is not a place for them. Tumblr is for serious bronies who make fan art and claim their undying love for specific ponies.
Furries love anthropomorphic animal characters who look sexy and cool. Many Furries swear it’s not sexual at all. They simply like dressing up and LARPing as different “fursonas.” But scroll through a few posts on Tumblr, and you’ll see that it’s become extremely sexualized. When they’re not dressing in mascot uniforms and interacting with each other, they’re busy drawing new characters they’d like to inhabit and posting them on Tumblr.
According to one Tumblr post I found on Otherkin, you must agree to the following criteria: you identify as “non-human,” that identity is psychological and you accept you are human at least in your exterior life, and you do no feel you had a choice in the matter. You really believe you are a vampire or alien or some other species of creature, and it’s something you accepted, not something you chose. You do you, kids.
7. Living Dolls
The want to manipulate your body so it looks good on camera is only getting worse. People want good Instagram pages, they want to look good on TikTok. There are many, however, who take it a step too far and try to transform themselves into human Barbies. Most of the Tumblr posts are people dressing up like anime characters, but instead of a LARP, it’s to live their lives like a doll in the real world. Some are goth, some are femme. I blame people who want to fuck cartoon characters for this trend.
8. Tinfoil Hat Shippers
This subculture believes that the stars of Supernatural are currently in a long torrid homosexual affair with each other and that the show alludes to that romance frequently. Not, mind you, the characters on the show. The actual actors. People think the two are in love. It’s caused a stir in the shipping community. Yes, people wanted to see a popular TV show take that turn, but to invade the privacy of straight actors with families is a pretty bad look, no matter how much you’d like it to be true.
Soulbonders are people who believe they are the real-world manifestation of fictional characters. They also believe they can be inhabited “Being John Malcovich-style” by multiple personas. The idea is that they take on different personalities even though they are one mere person. But how is that possible? Aren’t they… them? No. They are bonded to fictional representations of people, I think. I refuse to look any deeper into this subject because it sounds made up.
The hickies subculture is full of people who like to consensually get bitten and sucked on. Remember those marks your over-eager boyfriend used to give you on your neck? Well, now you’re an adult who can buy a turtleneck. You’re allowed to get sucked all you want. To me, it’s as weird as looking at Dr. Pimple Popper stuff, but if it’s your thing, I see nothing wrong with it.
I guess people are selling pills on this search? Seems like a trap. Wouldn’t reach out. But, if you’re the kind of person who likes drugs, there’s a lot of people extolling the virtues of various controlled substances and how they can be enjoyed.
12. Pro Eating Disorder Tumblrs
I won’t include a picture on this or even point you to a good site, but you should know, this community is out there. In fact, most of the people I know who’ve had eating disorders learned from another person, so I’d say there isn’t really safety in numbers or community with regard to this topic. If you’re struggling, here’s a resource: Eating Disorder Helpline.
Exactly what it sounds like: a community of people bragging through “fake” stories about stuff they’ve stolen. When they get tired of sharing their stories, they tell other people how easy it is to rob Sephora. Anyone who’s currently trying to live on a budget… maybe check it out.
14. Dumpster Divers
Another budget-friendly resource: get all your food and furniture for free. The people using this tag found a way to make another person’s trash their treasure. Not to mention they’re probably saving the world by recycling. Good for them.
ASMR stands for “autonomous sensory meridian response” and is another word for those tingles you get when you hear someone whisper in your ear. It’s comforting. It’s titillating. It’s weird when you seek it out all the time. The audio and video are necessary to really get a handle on what this is all about, but I can tell you, like many other things on this list: the community has made it semi-romantic. You can now find “cute boyfriend talks you to sleep” videos on youtube that are purely for fans of this subculture.
OK, there’s fandom, and then there’s crossover fandom. Case in point, people who love Dr. Who by extension must love Sherlock and Supernatural for some reason. Here’s a question… what if they were all in the same universe? Wouldn’t that be “fun” to think about and not a total waste of time? Hmm? You be the judge.
17. Fake Texts
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to text Aaron Hotchner from Criminal Minds? Me neither, but for some reason, lots of people like fantasizing about having famous people (real or fake) as a friend or lover. It’s like fanfiction that took on a really post-post-modern form. Get into it.
Get out there and be somebody with tips from the people who are paranoid the world could end at any moment. Don’t you want to have food for 3-4 more days after the asteroid hits? I hope you have a bunker to run to before the food runs out. Are you wondering what else you’ll need in the apocalypse? Look no further than the survivalists on Tumblr.
19. Tumblr Teachers
While many teachers have moved over to TikTok, many still like to communicate with a vast audience via GIF.
Visual ASMR videos of things that are truly satisfying to look at. Unlike ASMR, it’s not sexual… yet.
21. Ship Art
Are there two characters you wish could finally get together? Are the characters from a children’s movie? No problem. People are putting their years of graphic design and drawing skills to work so that you can see Pixar characters make out. It somehow makes me feel worse than Simpson’s porn and the posts of that ilk. These aren’t necessarily sex-starved people. They’re emotionally stilted and it’s scary. But the art looks good.