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This article was published on May 24, 2012

The Oatmeal Effect: Google searches on inventor Nikola Tesla double thanks to a comic

The Oatmeal Effect: Google searches on inventor Nikola Tesla double thanks to a comic
Nancy Messieh
Story by

Nancy Messieh

Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Fol Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Follow her on Twitter, her site or Google+ or get in touch at [email protected]

The Oatmeal is best known for its creator, Matthew Inman’s, irreverent and sarcastic sense of humour. One of his more recent comics, however, detailing the life and times of American-Serbian inventor, Nikola Tesla, seems to have caused quite a stir.

In the comic, Inman gives his many readers a little bit of insight into the genius that was Tesla, while taking every opportunity to bash his peer, Thomas Edison, in the process.

His take prompted a lengthy and critical response from Forbes writer Alex Knapp, questioning the comic’s accuracy, giving life to another less lengthy, but just as irreverent response from Inman.

The argument itself has even earned a little bit of coverage of its own.

We’re certainly not here to pick apart the comic, or talk about accuracies, inaccuracies, vilification, or anything of that sort. Far from it. We’re just here to point out one little interesting tid-bit of information that we discovered.

One day after Inman posted the comic, searches on Google for Nikola Tesla doubled.

In the comic, Inman was trying to make one very important point, among others. Tesla’s place in pretty much every high school history curriculum has been usurped by other people.

Luckily for us, there are still quite a few people filled with curiosity, who still want to learn, and are still more than willing to seek out information that isn’t spoon-fed to them in the confines of a classroom.

It may be a short-lived spike of interest in the world of the oh-so-distracting Internet, where every two minutes something shiny and new comes along to grab our attention – but it’s still something. And we think that something is pretty cool.