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Live broadcast of a puddle becomes global Internet hit

A puddle in the north of England became an Internet star on Wednesday after around half a million people, including Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, hit live-streaming app Periscope to watch it.

No, it wasn’t doing anything. It was just being puddle-like. Sort of wet. In a small pool. Like a puddle.

The broadcast lasted six hours, in which time the body of water, apparently oblivious to the global interest it was gathering, remained exactly the same. But the lack of action didn’t stop hordes of people visiting the live feed, which at its peak attracted some 20,000 viewers.

Related: As Periscope’s popularity increases, so will dumb and illegal activities

Newcastle office worker Richard Rippon had the idea to broadcast the puddle on Periscope after spotting it from his desk.

With people like Twitter’s Jack Dorsey alerting others to the puddle’s existence, more and more people headed to Periscope (which Twitter happens to own) to find out what all the fuss was about. It seemed many were enjoying watching people’s attempts to cross the water, which was blocking a well-used pathway in the city.

Keen to become a part of this momentous event, some jokers made their way to the puddle with various props in hand. One person crossed it on an air mattress, while another used a surfboard. Someone else turned up with a “Wet Floor” sign, plopping it slap in the middle of the water. And the madness didn’t end there. Before the day was out, bottles of the now-famous puddle water started turning up on eBay, with more than 12 listings posted by folks hoping to make a fast buck out of the muddy liquid. One reads, “Own your piece of the world’s most famous puddle. Extremely rare. You cannot drink this water, it’s for decorative purposes only. It would look beautiful displayed on your mantelpiece.” 

Even after Periscope’s puddle-based extravaganza ended last night, the phenomenon continued to spread its watery tentacles throughout the Web, with a number of “highlights” videos – one of which we’ve embedded above – showing up on YouTube.