Let’s get it out of the way: There’s nothing complicated about the Superb Owl meme that takes over certain corners of the Internet on Super Bowl Sunday.
It may have started as a mistake, although its origins aren’t clear. But it’s obvious how it works — move the ‘b’ that starts ‘bowl’ to the end of ‘super.’ What’s that form? Superb Owl.
Owls are a fascinating creature. They aren’t one that small children identify with in the way they do with cows that say “moo” and cats that go “meow.” They’re nocturnal, so they aren’t just hanging out on our mid-day walks, and when they are out, our human eyes might barely see them in the darkness.
But they’re also a magnificent combination of various species that all fall under the heading of owls while looking vastly different from each other. Small owls, big owls, white owls, brown owls, owls that live in the arctic, owls that live in the desert. There’s an owl for every type of person.
So if there was going to be a silly typo meme on Super Bowl Sunday, better it be owls than something much less beautiful or fun.
A few years ago, Google even got in on the fun. Here’s the search result for “Superb Owl” that came up during Super Bowl 53:
In reality, you’re either here because you made a mistake or because you legitimately want to look at owl pictures. Feb. 7, 2021 will likely feature plenty more photographs of owls across social media, but this is a look back at some of the best posted in recent years.
Superb Owl Sunday III – 28 photos of these magnificent nocturnal hunters. If you have some time today before the big game (or are skipping the event entirely) I invite you to have a look, it was a real hoot putting this together. https://t.co/G1aX9U9JFR pic.twitter.com/p1l01AWZMf
— The Atlantic Photo (@TheAtlPhoto) February 3, 2019