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Only happy accidents: here are the best Error 404 pages on the Web

Okay, so most of us don’t really know the ins and outs of how the Internet works. We only know that  it’s unfathomably expansive and can drum up an answer for just about anything that rolls off the top of our head. Yet, despite all of its resounding capabilities and sheer wealth of content, we all know the Web has a tendency to fail us from time to time. Take 404 pages, for instance. The nagging pages represent a standard HTTP response code, essentially informing you of a broken or dead link. Maybe you have your fat fingers to blame, or perhaps the website developers, but who’s to blame matters little when you’re in a pinch. Not every 404 page is awful, though. In recent years, Web developers have transformed their error pages into someing more than mere accidents. Below are 15 of our favorite 404 pages on the Web.

Related: We paid more than $4 million for the Obamacare site and all we got was this lousy 404

The New Yorker

New Yorker 404

The Internet is a giant lab – at least according to The New Yorker. We’re all mice lost in the maze…. or something to that effect.

GoPro

GoPro 404

A leap of faith in its most literal form. The GoPro 404 page actually has a video of two bikers gapping a massive dirt feature – and one of them eating dirt. Head to the page to watch the epic fail

Visit Steve

Steve Lambert 404

Artist Steve Lambert’s 404 page is dubbed the most awkward 404 page on the Internet. That’s a pretty accurate description. He doesn’t say much during the 5-minute-plus video, but it’s somehow enticing. Maybe it’s his beard.

Blue Daniel

Blue Daniel 404

Design studio Blue Daniel’s 404 page feels like the beginning of a thriller movie, opening with an empty subway station as the 404 train pulls in. You click the sliding doors to enter the train, and once inside, you’ll sit across from a sleeping commuter and a woman taking photos. Still, we’re pretty sure you’re headed nowhere.

Titleist

Titleist 404 page

Yes, finding the right page can sometimes feel like looking for a golf ball in a vast expanse of green. It doesn’t help that premium Titleist golf balls are close to $5 a pop.

NPR

NPR 404 page

There are plenty of things that have gone missing. NPR does a nice job listing some of the bigger ones on its 404 page, such as Jimmy Hoffa and that London Fog briefcase.

Whitespark.ca

Whitespark 404 page

Whitespark.ca, a website dedicated to search engine optimization, lets you decide the fate of Brent. He’s the guy who couldn’t bring you the right page. Save him and he’ll be eternally grateful – or you know, don’t.

The North Face

Northface 404 page

We don’t know why, but goats are to blame for Northface’s 404 page.

Bluegg

Bluegg 404 page

Do goats scream like humans? Or do humans scream like goats? Website design firm Blueegg’s 404 is shocking at first, then hilarious no matter how many times you watch it.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp 404 page

Nothing represents a 404 page quite like a monkey – Mailchimp’s mammalian mascot – frozen in a block of ice. It’s certainly not the thing you were looking for.

Nouveller

Nouveller 404 page

Web design firm Nouveller offers a less-than-subtle ode to Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, if there ever was one. Typing commands such as “status” and “reboot” will allow you to do some interesting stuff…

Association for Computing Machinery

Association for Computing Machinery 404 page

Web servers have feelings too, or that’s what the Association for Computing Machinery wants you to think. And you thought Requiem for a Dream was sad.

Tumblr

Tumblr 404 page

Watch whatever illusion appears for three minutes and then quickly look up at the ceiling. It sure is far out, man.

Metro

Metro 404 page

The 404 page for the oddball publication Metro is the last thing you’d expect. Well, so long as you haven’t had a few sips of NyQuil within the last 12 hours.

Left Logic

left logic 404 page

Simply put, Java developer Left Logic lets you draw your own 404 page. Moreover, you can also build off some of their favorites, whether you want to utilize a pre-made coffee mug or poorly-drawn sparrow.

GitHub

github-404

Indeed, the 404 page for GitHub, the code repository and social network for developers, is not the website we are looking on. Move along.

Digital Trends

DT 404 page

Hopefully you’ve never seen it before, but for those who haven’t, you can check out pixelated renditions of DT CEO Ian Bell and CFO Dan Gaul in all their 8-bit glory. Apologies for the shameless plug!

Have a favorite 404 page? Share with us in the comments.

[Header image courtesy of Gonzalo Aragon/Shutterstock]