List of Theories

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Introduction on theories

Because so little is understood about UFSC relative to the massive amount of content, theories as the meaning of the project and the intent of the creator(s) abound. This is made more complex because it is not conclusively proven, for example, whether or not there is hidden information encoded in the videos. The very act of creating and distributing such a large number of videos might be the "point" of the project — or they could each be pieces of a massively complicated puzzle.

UFSC theory matrix.jpg

UFSC theories, visually represented

Possible Theories

Outsider art

Unfavorable Semicircle exhibits some elements of outsider art — an elaborate "world" whose meaning and internal logic are opaque to external observers. The "art" may be an attempt to relate or explain the author's worldview, or it may solely be created to satisfy the author's creative urges. (See, for example, the works of Henry Darger, Jandek and the maker of the Toynbee tiles.)

UFSC's videos have a remarkable similarity to Max-based works.


Steganography is the act of hiding information in plain sight, more or less "Security through obscurity". What good is knowing how to crack any conceivable code if you don't know the code exists in the first place?

A feasible example of Steganography would be hiding images within other images using "least significant bit" encoding. The LSB of each color is changed slightly, the changes are not perceivable, but are only revealed when an original and almost identical image is XORed with the modified image.

Modern number station

Due to the "eerie factor" alone the similarity with number stations has been brought up many times, which is another phenomena that was found and studied for decades before eventually surfacing as a method of secure long-distance communication. The fact that UFSC uses public platforms such as YouTube and Twitter and that the would-be-messages are nonsensical to anyone simply stumbling upon it by chance make it virtually the same as a bona-fide number station.

It would also be a superior alternative to a traditional number station due to being hosted in a third-party service (no cost or maintenance needed), being harder to trace back to the original person or group uploading videos and also load-balanced and relying on geographical content-delivery networks as a way of being immediately accessible 24/7 anywhere in the world that is connected to the Internet (so pretty much any civilized location anywhere in the globe).

Some videos also feature a handshake and actual numbers being spoken - both obvious features from traditional number stations.

Penetration testing

  • The idea is that the video may be carrying a payload or is affecting memory elsewhere when played through memory leaks. This would be a significant exploit and would be a huge deal.
  • Idea by /u/FesterCluck
  • More specifically, FesterCluck believed the entity behind UFSC is pen-testing for a GPU RAM exploit via YouTube (or video content in general).
  • This is a bit of a controversial theory. Many of us are not sure how this would work, or if it is even possible, but as of now hasn't been proven either way.
  • Original reddit post and discussion here
  • More info on Discord user festercluck's theories on Stagefright and Rowhammer exploits.
  • The videos have been shown to cause strange behavior in some cases, such as playing after the YouTube duration bar is over or causing Android phones to shut down their screens. Whether this is intended or a byproduct of the custom process used in creating videos is unknown.
  • Another possibility is that the author(s) are trying to reverse-engineer YouTube internals (or Twitter, for that particular account) by creating scenarios that would target specific systems such as transcoding, storage or copyright identification.

Recruitment puzzle or test

There have been some cryptic recruitment puzzles happening in the modern web so it's only natural that this comparison would be made - Cicada 3301 being the most notorious example. The apparent technical complexity and cryptographic elements of UFSC only further such comparisons.


Unfavorable Semicircle may be an alternate reality game.


Long short-term memory (LSTM) is a recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture. Some analysis on its possible relationship to UFSC can be found here.

Work of a disturbed mind

The fact that there seems to be no rhyme or reason to UFSC's body of work naturally raises suspicion that this is the outcome of a deranged mind, possibly schizophrenic. It's important to note though, that even if that's the case, whatever process is used to create the videos shows a refined technical understanding of video encoding and production - some videos being simpler while others being quite elaborate. Thus, even if insanity is a possibility, it should be thought of in a proper context, not necessarily meaning this work is without a purpose or intention as has been discussed thus far.

Experiment of human interpretation

In Season 3, Episode 6 of Vsauce's Mind Field series, titled "How to Talk to Aliens," Michael discussed the Arecibo Message and questioned if any civilization would be able to decipher it. To gauge the possibility of any civilization receiving, deciphering, and even understanding the message, he created an experiment in which five participants were given an audio file similar in structure to the Arecibo Message, but rather than containing any data, it was only noise. The participants successfully reconstructed the image, but they were quick to come to the conclusion that the message was just noise.

It is possible that Unfavorable Semicircle was created for a similar purpose: testing how well humans could make sense of an enigmatic audio/visual medium that may not truly mean anything at all. The hidden data was revealed thanks to the creation of the composites, but since then, a greater meaning to Unfavorable Semicircle's existence has not been understood.

If to assume that this is a study conducted by actual scientists or a university, this theory becomes less likely as time progresses. Since the beginning of Unfavorable Semicircle's existence in 2015 and its arguable "ending" in 2017, there have been no published studies referencing Unfavorable Semicircle or its experimental purpose.

Unlikely Theories

UFSC is a viral advertising campaign

  • Unlikely due to the length of the project and seeming lack of purpose.


  • Same as above

Debunked theories with evidence

UFSC is a test by or affiliated with google, much like Webdriver Torso

  • The first YouTube channel was banned on (date) due to multiple terms of service violations.
  • Unfavorable Semicircle also created a twitter account, so we know that it isn't YouTube specific.

UFSC is a script run amok

  • Not likely due to the human behaviors it is exhibiting, and deliberately hidden messages like composites.
  • UFSC was able to create new accounts, has new content, and switch platforms. They have also deliberately tried to lead people to their other channels and platforms.

Other extreme theories

UFSC is an alien message from Sagittarius

  • All videos of the current channels have got the Sagittarius symbol.
  • All further mentions of aliens WILL be removed.