A lighthearted photo of a crawfish being "interviewed" by an NBC 7 San Diego news crew in 2012 has clawed its way back into the weird world of internet fame, making its mark as a meme.
The photo shows a crustacean standing on a wet roadway as an out-of-frame reporter holds an NBC 7-flagged news microphone near its face. And, one could imagine – in a time when humorous photos with variations of text over them spread wildly on the internet – the crawfish is quite engaged in the interview. The critter’s stance could even be interpreted as attentive.
The photo recently resurfaced on Instagram. It was posted on an account dubbed "@TrashcanPaul," which has 1.4 million followers. The account is known for posting memes.
Seven years later, we’re looking back at the origin of the "Crawfish Interview" photo. Where, exactly, did it come from? How did it evolve into an internet darling?
The date: mid-December 2012.
The story: a bout of winter weather in often-sunny San Diego.
A news crew that included former NBC 7 reporter Diana Guevara and photographer Al Villegas had set out to cover a storm and flooding. The crew went to Quarry Road in Spring Valley, to a dip that is prone to flooding.
Guevara told NBC 7 on Monday that she remembers it like it was yesterday.
She was looking for locals to interview on camera about the wet weather but there wasn’t a human in sight. The area had started to flood, and motorists were rightfully avoiding the dip in the road.
Then, Guevara spotted a sign of life.
"I saw this crawfish crawling out of the puddle and I put the mic up to it and told Al, 'Hey, take a picture!'" Guevara recalled.
Hoping to share a little bit of sunshine on that dreary day, the news crew emailed the photo to the NBC 7 newsroom. It was accompanied by a note saying the crawfish was the only local they could find who wanted to go on camera for their story.
The newsroom sure got a laugh out of it because, you know, office humor is for everyone.
The photo was so funny, NBC 7 had to share it with the world. The digital team posted the pic on Facebook, asking followers to come up with captions for it. More than 300 people commented on the thread and it was widely shared across the social media platform.
"Crawfish season opens soon? That’s cray!" one caption read.
"Yeah…the sun went that way," read another.
"Stay crabby…err, I mean classy, San Diego," quipped another viewer.
From there, the photo’s fame only grew.
Mashable wrote a story about it, titled "Who Interviewed This Crawfish? And Why?"
The internet saw something special in that curious crawfish.
Over the years, the "Crawfish Interview" photo has been uploaded by users on Imgflip, a tool that generates memes and GIFs from images. The memes include text over the photos.
One of the crawfish memes reads: "And then she screams at me, 'Now you’re just being shellfish.'"
Another imagines the reporter’s question: "Sir, what do you know about the disappearance of your wife?" And, of course, the crustacean’s answer: "I lobster and I never flounder."
And, there you have it: the behind-the-scenes story of the "Crawfish Interview," which serves to prove that the internet never forgets, especially when there is laughter to be had.
"Who knew years later, this thing would still be making its rounds?" Guevara laughed. "Too funny!"