The new hashtag offers a collection of some of the most unusually-named PokéStops in Japan, and some that just make us laugh.
What are they? Where do they come from? Why does this animal statue near my house spew PokéBalls out at me when I spin the wheel? Why is it called a “chicken” but look like a horse?
Like many of us, Pokémon GO players throughout Japan have encountered PokéStops that occasionally leave them scratching their heads with their bizarre, often humorous names and locations. Though most PokéStops we encounter have relatively bland, descriptive names, some boast bizarre labels verging on the avant-garde.
▼ PokéStop labelled as “chicken”
これどーみても馬www #ポケストップふざけてんのかグランプリ https://t.co/nHg78sfkx0—
りく (@riku1202love1) August 08, 2016
Now, players in Japan have taken to celebrating this humorous phenomenon with a hashtag, “PokéStop fuzaketen no ka Guran puri,” which translates to something like “The PokéStop ‘Are You Seriously Kidding Me’ Grand Prix.”
In researching this hilarious campaign, I’ve observed several microtrends. One, the object with a baffling name that identifies it as something completely incorrect.
▼ ”Pig and Horse” — not quite, but they’re all vertebrates, I guess…
世田谷公園の近くにあったけど明らかにうさぎとかえるなんだけど... #ポケストップふざけてんのかグランプリ https://t.co/5UwxaW0IYr—
†あおあお† (@aoaogamedaisuki) August 07, 2016
Another subtype in the genre of ‘Are They for Real’ PokéStop locations are those that we’re frankly a little scared to approach.
▼ ”Come over” — uhh, maybe later?
#ポケストップふざけてんのかグランプリ 行かねぇよ怖いわ https://t.co/F9otsyPYON—
マスケ静岡勢@ポケモンGO (@4Vr07) August 04, 2016
And then the miscellaneous category, which contains things cute, clever, or somehow just a little off.
▼ “Gatekeeper Miffy”–abandon all hope ye who enter!
うちの門も守って欲しい #ポケストップふざけてんのかグランプリ https://t.co/8ecZM6TSCI—
ゆずゆ (@mily626) August 03, 2016
Many of us have likely wondered where these names come from, or how these mysterious beacons of hope were dispersed throughout the world. Turns out, the answer appears relatively mundane, and could go a long way to explaining where these bizarre names come from to begin with. Niantic’s previous game, Ingress, allowed players to register certain sites, known as “portals,” through the application. It seems that some of these players had a sense of humor, leading to some of the more unusual entries collected under the “The PokéStop ‘Are You Seriously Kidding Me’ Grand Prix” hashtag.
For now, it seems likely that this list will continue to grow. Players must constantly search for the next Pokéstop in the distance, an oasis that offers critical items that sustain the eternal, Quixotic quest to collect all the Pokémon known to humanity (hey, this guy did it!). At least with these strange PokéStops in the mix, we’ll be sure to have the occasional chuckle to break the monotony.