Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Why are Facebook users changing their profile pictures to giraffes?

Do your Facebook friends suddenly look like giraffes in their profile picture?

Relax, it's not a new form of social-media hacking, but rather a response to that Facebook user supplying the wrong answer to a simple riddle.

As reported by The Mirror, Facebook has become ground zero lately for a bizarre trend that has people talking.

Story continues below advertisement

Since last weekend, people have been posting a supposedly easy-to-solve riddle on their Facebook walls and those users who can't figure out the answer have to change their profile picture to a giraffe.

The riddle in question: "It's 3 a.m., the doorbell rings and you wake up. Unexpected visitors! It's your parents and they are here for breakfast. You have strawberry jam, honey, wine, bread and cheese. What is the first thing you open?"

Changing one's profile picture to a giraffe involves voluntary participation in the game, of course.

As well, the riddle rules stipulate that Facebook users respond to the poster in order to not give away the answer in the comments section. And if you answer incorrectly, you must repost with the riddle with the same instructions after you change your profile photo.

The tricky part: If the Facebook user gets it wrong, you won't see their profile picture for a three-day period. This punishment presumably heightens the suspense for those users who haven't played the riddle game yet. It also makes the game more enticing in order to sucker more people into playing.

Known officially as The Great Giraffe Challenge, the riddle was developed by Australian travel blogger Andrew Strugnell, who apparently has a reputation for engaging subscribers to his YouTube channel with similarly cheeky challenges.

Although Strugnell's original Facebook post earned only 42 likes and 31 shares, a separate page set up for the giraffe challenge has generated more than 40,000 likes in less than two days.

Story continues below advertisement

To expedite the game, Strugnell has also launched a website to instantly inform users whether or not they've solved the riddle.

While the giraffe riddle is clearly intended as a lighthearted time-waster, not everyone is thrilled with the concept. Interestingly, many of the disenchanted have taken to Twitter to vent their anger.

Wrote Mark Doody (@Doodyspudding): "Seriously, if you change your profile pic to a giraffe on Facebook cause you got a question wrong I don't wish to know you!"

From Vanessa Estrada (@ohNessaaa): "Can I just post the answer to that 'giraffe riddle' that's going on Facebook? It's getting ridiculous."

Which is probably a valid point. So with all spoiler alerts in effect, what is the first thing you open at 3 a.m. when your parents are ringing the doorbell?

It's your eyes, silly. The first thing you open before you get out of bed and answer the door are your eyes.

Story continues below advertisement

You're welcome.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct Licensing Options
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles as we switch to a new provider. We are behind schedule, but we are still working hard to bring you a new commenting system as soon as possible. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to