There are few prospects more enticing than the possibility that one has stumbled upon a genuine mystery, one that might be solved with a combination of diligence and brain power. It is the pivotal theme for legion of movies, books and TV shows especially the ones dealing with spies and detectives. The reddit community was introduced with such a mystery, a little over 5 years ago. A weird Subreddit known as ' r/A858DE45F56D9BC9 ' , which contains only strings of letters and numbers appeared on the site. To the casual eye, there wasn't much to see. The subreddit shared the same inscrutable set of numbers and letters as its moderator; the sidebar and comments provided no clarifying information. This particular mystery lacked its banal. Like one of many subreddits, which just confuses the user. But even then it seemed to serve some unknown private purpose. Its not perspicuous how the reddit community discovered A858's existence. Cryptic puzzles and group efforts to solve them are as old as internet itself. In the case of r/A858 , it languished in obscurity for the better part of a year, until an AMA (AskMeAnything) request asked for more information for which the mysterious moderator never responded. Though the request paved way for the users to form 'r/Solving_A858.
Many dedicated computer science students, amateur cryptographers and motivated enthusiasts began trying to crack the code. The initial community was small and close-knit, the creator kept the subreddit private. But that anonymity didn't last long and they made it public.
As we continue to show fervent attitude towards cracking the apparent code. But we question its purpose , what could they be? Possible explanations include, Its a team of programmers trying to find hidden talent like the famous Cicada 3301 challenge, Its a control for botnet. And countless other theories were more outlandish. Aliens. An AI. An insidious government program. Etc.
A seeming breakthrough occurred in August 2015 when certain hexadecimal chains began appearing in a forum devoted to solving r/A858.This proved to be the most indirect AMA in the history of Reddit. But the project seems to have reached an impasse of late. The original subreddit has gone private, and a message appeared saying that r/A858 "has concluded" and advising users to unsubscribe. But the faithful continue to plow through the archived posts, still seeking an ultimate answer.
The most dedicated users often had the most sophisticated theories: "For quite some time I've believed A858 to be a piece of art that uses the "digital world" as its canvas," speculated one moderator. "Hard to answer, " said another. "It's an experiment. There are several components (to put it at its crudest): the mathematical/decrypting part a social factor. I still am sure that the A858 is not only looking for very intelligent people, but is also studying behavior." One thing everyone agrees was that there is a purpose behind these posts.