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This crazy Japanese film just blew away Twitter's tweet record

Tweeters send out 143,199 tweets-per-second during the airing of the animated Japanese film Castle in the Sky earlier this month, according to Twitter.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam
2 min read
Castle in the Sky movie poster. Toei Company

Twitter revealed a new tweet-per-second record on Friday and it seems the 143,199 tweets-per-second milestone was triggered by the airing of a Japanese animated film.

The August 2 broadcast of Hayao Miyazaki's "Castle in the Sky," which happens in Japan routinely, led to the latest all-time one-second record. The volume dwarfs Twitter's average load of about 500 million tweets a day and 5,700 tweets a second.

The new rate shatters the last record noted by Twitter: 33,388 tweets-per-second during this past New Year's Day.

This wasn't the first time "Castle in the Sky" blew up Twitter. It also broke the record in December of 2011 when 25,088 tweets-per-second were hitting the Twittersphere.

Kotaku noted that fans were organizing the massive flash-tweet beforehand by posting on bulletin boards and Twitter.

The Wall Street Journal published a related piece on Aug. 1. The article noted that when the periodical airing of films from the Studio Ghibli, the studio that made "Castle in the Sky," coincides with the release of the U.S. jobs data, bad things happen to the stock market.

It also mentioned that traders expected the Aug. 2 screening to be an especially bad incident:

The Ghibli offering most deadly to markets is thought to be the one coming up on Friday: "Castle in the Sky,'' or "Laputa," as it is known in Japan. In the film, the protagonists send the city's airborne fortress tumbling out of the sky with the magic word, "balus" which roughly translates to "destruction."

So strong is the pull of "Laputa"--even apart from the Ghibli Rule--that during the last airing on Dec. 9, 2011, Twitter logged a then-record-breaking 25,088 tweets per second of fans posting "balus'' at the same time it was spoken during the movie--despite a public plea from the social-networking site to hold off.

So was it just fanatic fans or perhaps the curse of the Ghibli Rule that boosted the number of tweets that fateful day? Either way, Twitter is just happy it didn't have a fail whale moment, despite having to handle 25 times the normal rates of tweets at once.

"During this spike, our users didn't experience a blip on Twitter. That's one of our goals: to make sure Twitter is always available no matter what is happening around the world," according to Twitter's blog post.