Listenbourg is the hottest country on social media right now, with swarms of people tweeting about its culture and history; Some even shared patriotic photos of their flag and location.
So why haven’t you heard of the country of Listenbourg? Well, that’s because it just doesn’t exist.
The fake country became a viral sensation in the last week after a Twitter user – known as @gaspardooo – shared a photoshopped image of a country on the border between Spain and Portugal on October 30, according to Know Your Meme Meme Database.
It all started after @gaspardooo shared an image of a manipulated map of Europe with an arrow drawing attention to the area over two of the continent’s coastal countries.
Translated from French, the original tweet read: “I’m sure Americans don’t even know the name of this country.”
Soon after, the tweet went viral, mostly in European countries, as many of the original replies and subsequent memes were written in French and use French slang like “ptdr” — which Urban Dictionary says is an acronym for “pété de rire” — meaning wild Laughter, similar to the American term LMAO.
One account, in particular, contributed to the lore of the country in bulk and created a thread which listed the Listenbourg flag, its notable moments in history, and the country’s leaders.
The originator of the meme too compared the wrong country with Atlantis: “Imagine archaeologists find maps of Listenbourg in 1000 years, it will be like spending their whole lives with Atlantis ptdrrr looking for where the damn poor country might have gone” , joked the translated tweet .
“They talked about Listenbourg on Fox News and it doesn’t make them laugh at all,” wrote another, alongside a fake photo of Tucker Carlson Coverage of the internet sensation.
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The official account of the French Firefighters Association even tuned in and tweeted a fake story about supporting their neighboring country.
“#Intervention | The Sapeurs- #Pompiers [firefighters] of France deployed 18 fire engines from #forêt to support colleagues from #Listenbourg, whose territory is engulfed in flames,” read the translated tweet.
So did some brands, like navigation app Waze, which tweeted“The Listenbourg, at least we know how to get there!”
But Listenbourg doesn’t just exist on Twitter; The fictional location has also infiltrated other social media platforms such as Reddit and TikTok.
The subreddit r/Listenbourg is dedicated to sharing memes, jokes, and of course, fake “facts” about the region. The pinned thread, titled “Learn more about the country!” has risen to the top, providing context for everything there might be to know about the viral country that doesn’t exist. Another Reddit user even shared a YouTube time-lapse of the making of the wrong country.
Even TikTok is talking about it, with millions of views already compiled for the #Listenbourg tag along with dozens of videos made about the invented country.
While Americans’ stereotypical lack of knowledge of international geography is clearly at the root of the joke, it was only a matter of time before someone came along for us when memes made fun of it British and Australian Speech patterns have been making their rounds on the internet for some time.