Mark Zuckerberg reaches a new level in July 4 Instagram surfboard video

"I saw it, so now you have to see it too."

Jackson Ryan Former Science Editor
Jackson Ryan was CNET's science editor, and a multiple award-winning one at that. Earlier, he'd been a scientist, but he realized he wasn't very happy sitting at a lab bench all day. Science writing, he realized, was the best job in the world -- it let him tell stories about space, the planet, climate change and the people working at the frontiers of human knowledge. He also owns a lot of ugly Christmas sweaters.
Jackson Ryan
2 min read

Mark Zuckerberg rides an electric hydrofoil surfboard, grasping a US flag.

Mark Zuckerberg/Instagram

Not sure where to begin with this one, so I guess the facts will have to do. On July 4, billionaire Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a video to his Instagram account. The video shows Zuckerberg on what appears to be an electric hydrofoil surfboard just as the sun sets over a body of water, American flag blowing in the breeze, while John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" plays.

Here's the video for you to... enjoy?

I feel like social media has been collectively experiencing the stages of grief as the 71-second video goes viral -- clocking over 500,000 views on both Instagram and Facebook within hours. 

Denial came quickly: Zuckerberg must just be trolling us, surely? We're all falling for it. He's got us. (And he truly might. The meme potential of this image is so high that no billionaire social media mogul could post it without knowing there'd be thousands of articles discussing it -- including this one.)

Many quickly moved on to the anger: Open up Twitter, and you'll find it has been relentlessly pilloried. It's reaching "Zuckerberg with a face full of sunscreen" levels.

"I saw it, so now you have to see it too. I'm sorry," wrote one user.

"This is the worst thing that has ever existed," wrote another

Another: "Do billionaires become incredibly weird because of the money, or do they become billionaires because they're incredibly weird? Because what the hell is this?"

And "peak cringe," probably sums it up.    

Next, bargaining: What if this video is a deepfake? What if this is simply a robot in the image of Mark Zuckerberg?

"These AI are getting too human like," someone wrote.

Ultimately though, the stages of grief end in acceptance. We've come to that place quickly. 

"The ocean: please set me back on fire," sighed one soul, referring to the gas pipeline leak in the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend. 

If nothing else, Zuckerberg has mastered that board. Happy Fourth of July!