Ten genuinely great things the internet gave us in 2017, featuring baby hippos

Fiona, a Nile hippopotamus, plays in her enclosure at the Cincinnati zoo and botanical garden.

Unless you’re a corporation hoarding billions of dollars in offshore tax shelters, 2017 has not been a good year.

From Trump’s Twitter tantrums to the constant stream of alerts about natural disasters, the news has offered little in the way of happy distraction.

But amid all this doom and gloom, the internet did offer up a handful of moments of pure unadulterated joy. Forthwith, our definitive list of the top 10 things that weren’t terrible on the internet in 2017.

10. Nicki Minaj giving away money

Thanks to the United States’ unique commitment to not providing universal health care for its citizens, our social media feeds are often a heartbreaking stream of online fundraisers for medical costs. This spring, the rapper Nicki Minaj flipped the script, offering up an impromptu student debt jubilee on Twitter.



Show me straight A’s that I can verify w/ur school and I’ll pay it. Who wants to join THAT contest?!?!‍♀️ Dead serious. Shld I set it up? https://twitter.com/cjbydesign/status/861073053312307200 

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Over the course of an hour, the star pledged upwards of $30,000 to support her fans’ studies. It was a nice reminder that social media doesn’t have to be toxic.

9. The 20-something rapper who befriended an 80-something retiree

Amid the constant barrage of Nazi trolls and bad-faith mansplainers, it can be hard to remember that some people actually do make friends on the internet. People like Spencer Sleyon, 22, and Rosalind Guttman, 81, who forged a close relationship after being randomly matched as opponents in Words With Friends, an online Scrabble game.

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High Class Filth@Filth800

so last summer i randomly met this 80 y/o woman on words with friends. we played 300+ games together and she actually ended up becoming a good friend of mine. today i got to go to florida and meet her in person

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8. Fiona the baby hippo

To be perfectly honest, I don’t really get Fiona. Sure, you have a small version of a strange giant animal, and that’s always fun, but the path from “cute animal” to internet superstar is a mystery. Still, Fiona is a bona fide phenomenon, and she seems to deserve that as much as any other internet phenomenon does. And thankfully, the fact that she can’t type means that her fans won’t have to go through the pain of discovering that she’s secretly been a milkshake duck this whole time.

7. The eclipse

No, not that eclipse. Solar eclipses happen all the time. This year, the internet gave us a truly rare event: a total eclipse of the pugs.


solar eclipse (2017)

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6. U bum

LeBron James dunks all the time. Donald Trump tweets terrible things all the time. Neither of these phenomena is particularly notable in and of itself. But when LeBron James dunked on Donald Trump after the president disinvited Steph Curry to the White House, well, that was art.

LeBron James


U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!

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5. My mummy says

It’s one thing to get dunked on by one of the greatest basketball players of all time. It’s quite another to get clowned on by a six-year old. And yet, that was the unenviable position of one Nigel Farage, who was being “knighted” by a young girl in a bizarre skit on RT when the child piped up with a statement: “My mummy says you hate foreigners.”

Show us the lie.