Since September last year, a YouTube user named Webdriver Torso has uploaded over 80,000 videos on to their channel, most of which have been 11-second clips inexplicably filled with colored rectangles. The channel's eccentric patterns eventually drew the attention of the internet, leading to multiple attempts at understanding the true purpose behind Webdriver Torso.

Almost all of the uploads follow the same pattern - 10 slides, each with a red rectangle, a blue rectangle and a computer-generated tone.

The shapes change size and the notes change pitch. Each video appears to be unique, but the format stays the same.


Webdriver Torso


The internet was awash with speculation about the source of the videos, including spy messages, extraterrestrial uploads from aliens and test patterns.

But now it seems that the reality behind the Webdriver Torso mystery is more mundane. Google has recently confirmed it is behind the Webdriver Torso web account, and is one of many tests channels used by YouTube to ensure video quality.

In an official statement, Google said: "We're never gonna give you uploading that's slow or loses video quality, and we're never gonna let you down by playing YouTube in poor video quality.

Its light-hearted statement echoes 1980s pop star Rick Astley's hit song Never Gonna Give You Up in reference to a recent Webdriver Torso video which showed the singer in silhouette.

That in turn is a reference to Rickrolling, one of the internet's most famous memes which linked people to a video of the singer via a masked link.