The passing of time is both beautiful, and kind of tragic. There are things that we will never be able to experience. Species are lost, environments are lost, civilizations are lost, recipes are lost. All of that knowledge is gone. That's pretty sad, but with the advent of the internet people who have these little bits of knowledge can share them with the world.

That said, there are some things even the internet can't get back. One Reddit user really wanted to know what those things might be, so they asked:

What's a piece of lost media not even the internet can recover?

And honestly, there's so much stuff here that I never knew I never knew! The factoid about the Iliad and Odyssey really messed with me. They're considered incredible literary works but they're not even half of the entire series!?!? Here are some of my favorite responses to the thread.

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

Pretty Much Everything Before 1929


The Film Foundation has estimated that about 90% of all films made before 1929 are lost. This includes the first films by Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Capra and several other notable filmmakers, the earliest film adaptations of several famous stories and one of the first Best Picture Oscar nominees.

This is because back in the 20s (a decade well-known for its foresight) film was shot on nitrate which would often spontaneously combust into plumes of Hellfire that would destroy everything around it unless it was stored in a low-humidity, low-heat environment. Hollywood producers (a group also well-known for their foresight) decided to f*** that and stored them in sun-baked storage sheds in the middle of Los Angeles.

- Flashpenny



A bunch of EARLY episodes of Doctor Who that the BBC deliberately erased because the tapes were expensive and the show was seen as cheap and of no lasting value.


What An Odyssey


Homer's Iliad and Odyssey are two of an eight part set. The other six are lost to the ages, as they were primarily shared aloud not memorialized in writing.

- Vette720

Oh Nixon


Stunned no one's yet mentioned the infamous "18 1/2 Minute Gap"... the missing/erased portion of Nixon's first taped discussion of Watergate with his Chief of Staff H.R. Haldenman, on June 20th, 1972.

Even modern digital forensics have been unable to recover what was erased (and it probably wasn't even that interesting). There's good evidence that parts of the 18-minute gap were deliberately targeted.

Forensic analysis of the tape showed that there were 5 "head off" indicators during the gap (i.e. 5 points on the tape where the record head was disengaged), but 9 "head on" indicators (i.e. 9 points where the record head was engaged). This shows that the tape was backed-up several times to re-erase certain parts of the tape. The implication being that someone wanted to make damn sure those parts were gone.

- Im-A-Blackstar

The Lost Beatles Song


The lost Beatles song, Carnival Of Light. It was a 14 minute avant garde song that was similar to Revolution 9 but was only played at The Million Volt Light and Sound Rave Festival in 1967.

Paul McCartney owns the master tapes, so he tried to include the song for the Anthology in 1996, but was quickly shot down by George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono as they didn't like the avant garde nature of the song. Paul tried many times over the years to include it in future Beatles compilations and films, but could never get the permission from Ringo, Yoko and Olivia Harrison. Giles Martin considered putting the song in for the 50th anniversary Sgt. Pepper remastered release, but shot it down for not being part of the Pepper recordings. He's still interested in bringing the song to light in the future, so tomorrow never knows.

- TightwadHill



I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the terabytes of images on photobucket yet. Photobucket used to be like imgur. Free image hosting and embedding with direct links. But in 2015, they locked everyone's previously free images behind a $100/year paywall. And it's $400/year to embed those images on websites. So there are literally millions of reddit threads, forum posts and personal websites that are defunct. I actually paid the $100 a few months ago to get my photos back (some were the only copies of photos of my friend who died), reset my password, and NOTHING was in my account. I had hundreds of images on my account. There was literally nothing left and after speaking with their customer support and doing a bit of research, there are several people who have come forward who have lost everything as well with no given way to recover them. I can only imagine what used to be there to browse freely.

- Parietaleye

Babushka Lady


The babushka lady's film of the Kennedy assassination. There was a lady that looked like an old Russian Babushka present at The Assassination. There are photos of her from an angle that no one else has a picture from with a camera up to her eye as JFK was getting shot,. Meaning she has a picture of the shot from another angle, including the grassy knoll (which is where people think a second shooter was.)

After JFK was shot everyone was running away, panicking. And Babushka was calmly walking away. Everyone who has photos from that day has come forward, besides her. Her pictures have never been seen and a lot of people think if they are released it will finally settle the conspiracy one way or the other.

Basically, old lady has a camera of JFK getting shot from a unique angle and she's never come forward with the picture. Also, she seemed really sketchy and weirdly dressed for Texas.

- SpartanIK

Suicide Broadcast Live


Christine Chubbuck's suicide tape. It was broadcast live in 1974. Only one copy of it is known to exist and it cannot be found anywhere on the Internet. There's a fake on LiveLeak, but that's it. The people who ran the TV station back when she was working there, said it was a clear fake as they were the only ones with copies of the tape and the other tapes had been destroyed. There have been a few movies made about it.

- YourDiaperIsFull



My grooveshark playlists. I used grooveshark for forever and ever, never illegally downloaded anything from it or paid for the mobile app, I just really liked using it on my laptop. It was clean and easy to use with no ads. Used it from like 2009 or 2010 up until 2015 and then one day I went to listen to music while doing homework and it was gone... That was really upsetting is that I had used it the day before and I had no forewarning to save my stuff. It's not like I don't have access to the music, I mean I know everything I listened to is on YouTube and Spotify. I'm upset because I lost my PLAYLISTS from early high school. Sometimes I'll hear a song, then start thinking about what automatically should come next, and I whip out my note on my phone where I write down the playlist. I remember when it shut down, some Reddit comment suggested this crazy way to sort of redone load the playlist info, but it didn't work for all my stuff. Oh well, life goes on I guess.


Family Librarian


I was deemed my family's media librarian and gifted all of my grandfather's Super8 films and slides for safekeeping.

I transferred the Super8 films to VHS which my grandpa enjoyed watching in his final days in the year 2001. It's something I'm still proud of my teenage self for having the patience to do.

Unfortunately greed is strong and the VHS copies were lost after he passed because his 7 kids descended upon the house and stripped it bare.

But worst of all, all original media was destroyed when my house burned down nigh on 10 years ago.

- 26_Charlie

H/T: Reddit

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