I discovered this extremely strange thing the other day. I really can't describe to you what it is, but here's a picture of it so you can have a look for yourself and see if you can help me. What is this thing? Is it some sort of deep mine or shaft? Is it a part of a computer system? I'm at my wits end as to what it could be.

What does this image show? Give me a two-word answer and I’ll know you know what it is…


This is not a complex multistep puzzle. It's quite simple in fact... If you're measuring pixels and exact RGB values you're on the wrong track. I apologize for the colour scheme which is not colourblind-friendly, although my hand was slightly forced as you'll see. As long as you can see the individual lines you should be right to solve it. Of the long vertical lines on the right of the image, the second from the right is pink, and the 9th and 10th from the right are red. I can't really go into more specific detail unfortunately, as this is an inherently visual puzzle. Note that a little artistic license has been taken, so don't get too hung up on minor inconsistencies if you are nearing the solution.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm seeing a rot13(KXPQ Zbivr Aneengvir Puneg). Is that on the right track? $\endgroup$ Sep 28, 2021 at 13:14
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    $\begingroup$ @TwoBitOperation I've never seen one of those before - interpret that as you please... $\endgroup$
    – Anon
    Sep 28, 2021 at 13:18
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    $\begingroup$ Relevant examples are here. fiftythree.studio/products/… $\endgroup$
    – Florian F
    Sep 28, 2021 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ @FlorianF On the right track! I'll explain my motivation in making the puzzle once it is solved as I hadn't seen these before. $\endgroup$
    – Anon
    Sep 28, 2021 at 19:16
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    $\begingroup$ Since this was posted I've been thinking along the same lines as @TwoBitOperation (above), but can't pinpoint the precise context just yet... In case it helps anyone else, here's a theory: rot13(gur erq yvarf ercerfrag qrnguf, yvaxvat gur xvyyre naq gur qrprnfrq (znexrq ol n oynpx grezvahf); gur cvax yvar vf gura n ERFHEERPGVBA - frr gur oynpx qbgf rvgure fvqr bs gur qrngu/erfheerpgvba frdhrapr: n qrngu gura n erovegu. Fvtavsvpnagyl guvf zrnaf gur oebja yvar xvyyf gur oynpx yvar va gur obggbz evtug pbeare naq vf gura xvyyrq ol vg va erghea nsgre vg'f erfheerpgrq...) - ring any bells anyone?? $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Sep 28, 2021 at 20:17

1 Answer 1


I think that this is

The Matrix

Reasoning (warning: spoilers incoming)

As mentioned by TwoBitOperation in the comments, each black line represents a character arc from the movie. In particular, Neo starts at the bottom on the left (in the matrix represented by the green layers), while the other characters (except for Trinity, I think) start in the real world (blue part).
As Stiv pointed out, red lines represent one character killing another. In particular, Cypher kills Dozer (in the real world) and unplugs Apoc and Switch (in the matrix) before being killed by Tank.
Also as Stiv noted, the pink line represents a resurrection. The brown line represents Agent Smith who kills Neo. Then Neo is resurrected by Trinity's kiss and he then kills Smith.
We also notice earlier in the movie, Smith's dinner with Cypher, prior to Cypher's betrayal.

As far as I can tell, the black lines from top to bottom are

Tank, Dozer, Mouse, Morpheus, Cypher, Apoc, Switch, Trinity and Neo. The short black line represents the Oracle.

Also the white section represents

The training simulation which Neo and Morpheus spend some time in when Morpheus first introduces him to the matrix.

  • $\begingroup$ Awesome! Checkmark incoming shortly. I think you identified pretty much everything. I think the only thing you didn't mention was what the white bit represents. There's also a number of little clues in the flavourtext. I never fail to be impressed with the PSE community's speed. V npghnyyl unqa'g frra bar bs gurfr qvntenzf fb V gubhtug V'q vairagrq gur vqrn naq vg jbhyq or uneqre gb trg gur nun! zbzrag. Zl vafcvengvba jnf n erprag Pbeevqbe Perj ivqrb jurer Jera jnf fubjvat Fnaxrl qvntenzf bs gur jbeyq'f raretl hfntr naq V gubhtug "vzntvar vs lbh pbhyq fubj n fgbel'f cybg jvgu bar bs gubfr!" $\endgroup$
    – Anon
    Sep 29, 2021 at 0:53
  • $\begingroup$ V jnf tbvat gb qb n obbx be cynl hagvy V ernyvfrq n zbivr pbhyq tvir zber ivfhny phrf. Gur Zngevk jnf gura na boivbhf rknzcyr - fghaavat ivfhnyf, vpbavp cybg, cyhf gur snpg gung gur nafjre gb gur dhrfgvba "jung vf guvf guvat gung ybbxf yvxr cneg bs n pbzchgre" jbhyq or "gur Zngevk!". Creuncf V npghnyyl unir frra bar bs gurfr ybat ybat ntb naq vg fbzrubj wbttrq zl fhopbafpvbhf ohg rvgure jnl V pyrneyl gubhtug gur vqrn jnf pyrirere guna vg jnf unun $\endgroup$
    – Anon
    Sep 29, 2021 at 0:54
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    $\begingroup$ Brilliantly deduced - well done :) +1 Glad my initial ideas were on the right track! $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Sep 29, 2021 at 6:11

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