Unfavorable Semicircle

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What is Unfavorable Semicircle?

Unfavorable Semicircle is the name of a Youtube channel posting strange videos. This community is dedicated to finding out what they mean.

What do we know about Unfavorable Semicircle?

Origins

On the April 5, 2015 a YouTube channel named Unfavorable Semicircle started uploading strange videos. Generally these videos:

  • were 5 seconds long
  • had a man's voice saying a letter or number
  • had a solid background with a colour pixel in the frame

With a few exceptions, the names of the videos start with ♐, the astrological symbol for Sagittarius.

The initial videos from were titled with strings of digits. Around February 14, 2016 videos titled "♐BRILL" followed by a number counting up were posted.

Attention and disappearance

There is no indication that the youtube channel made any efforts to attract attention, but due to the volume of uploads and strange nature of the videos, observers started to take notice. Reddit threads on r/UnexplainedPhotos/ and r/DeepIntoYouTube/ brought attention to the phenomenon, which lead to the formation of /r/UnfavorableSemicircle/ to centralize investigations.

Blog and media attention followed, including articles on Atlas Obscura and the BBC. Unfavorable Semicircle was going viral.

Then, at approximately 15:40 EST, on February 25, 2016 the Unfavorable Semicircle YouTube account was suspended for TOS violations - most likely from uploading too many videos too fast.

Investigation and reappearance

The suspension of the original youtube channel only increased the interest in the phenomenon, and theories and ideas blossomed on the reddit.

On the 15th of March 2016 garbled text was discovered on the Google+ page linked with the terminated YouTube account. This was decoded to be source of a Twitter account and also contained a link to a new YouTube account. Both these accounts are named Unfavorable Semi. (Since then, there have been several "copycat" channels re-posting the videos but this remains the only "official" youtube account.)

This was the beginning of the "modern era" of UFSC, and a huge amount of data continues to be posted, although there are few solid conclusions to be made as to the underlying reasons. On youtube and twitter, there have been many series of videos (some with over thirty thousand videos apiece) which often alternate with one-off unique videos.

The meaning of the videos and the intent of their creator(s) remains unclear. One key discovery was that many of them contain individual frames that can be assembled into larger pictures. These composites, however, are equally mysterious. The audio in the videos range from distorted carnival music to barely-comprehensible speech to what might be encoded binary audio.

Continuing efforts

After a pause of several weeks, on September 16th 2016, Unfavorable Semicircle became active again. The account made a post on Google+ saying "MAX_TENDMALFORM RETSPLIT&#8853201639#98082016239". Not much is known about what this post means at this time, but it is assumed to have significance.

It was discovered that the large composite for ♐HARVEST contains small (but legible) text that was taken from the introduction to the Wikipedia article on "Art".

Articles to read

Take a look at the theories page as well as the Timeline, and the List of Things Accomplished/Tried.

Joining the Community

We're a fairly active community, dedicated to solving this mystery. There is a lot of work to be done! Because there are so many unknown parts to this phenomenon, a wide variety of skills are required. Coding, video editing and sound engineering are being employed to try and figure this out, but even if you don't know anything about those fields, your own particular expertise (as well as your questions and your analytical mind) is still important!

Subreddit

https://reddit.com/r/UnfavorableSemicircle

Discord Chat

https://discord.gg/0153LdFL1F3RQmns9

  • The chat is fairly active 24/7, so feel free to join us. We'll do our best to bring you up to speed.

The videos

The original youtube account was shut down for TOS violations, and that could happen again — or UFSC could simply pull the plug at some point. An important part of the work on this project is ensuring that the videos will remain available to this community and future researchers.

Archives

An archive (large, but not complete) of the videos from the original youtube account can be found here: http://www.mediafire.com/?94a040t5vwsprwx

(n.b. The 7zip is 300MB, but what's inside is 7.5GB, 77442 files)

An archive of the videos from the second youtube account can be found here: https://mega.nz/#F!ThAi2TZT!kFlgV0_JDaFeQdVWmJG7bg

tomasf has an archive of some videos here, including most major videos of the deleted channel as well as the deleted video SQEN.

Grabbing new videos

There are several ways to download the videos that are posted on youtube.

  • youtube-dl is a command line utility for downloading videos from YouTube, Twitter, and other sites. It can download groups of videos by keyword or channel, and control the format of the video and audio it downloads in.
  • JDownloader is a free, open-source download management tool which will download material in the same format it was uploaded.
  • Discord user spicy boy indicates that ClipConverter is the best online youtube downloader.
  • Firefox users can use add-ons such as Download YouTube Videos as MP4, which integrates with YouTube's interface, adding a button to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.