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If you’ve seen our previous shows on the dark web you should now know what you can
find there and how to find it.
As you know the dark web can be accessed through what’s called the Tor browser.
Once you are in you should have complete anonymity, meaning no one can track your IP address.
What kinds of things can you find there?
Well, as you also likely know the dark web is full of people selling illegal things such
as drugs, but there have also been reports of people even hiring hitmen through the dark
People might also just go there to talk to other people about their illness, their strange
habits, their darkest secrets.
Today we are going to unravel something a little more mysterious, in this episode of
the Infographics Show, Can You Really Order A Mystery Box from The Dark Web?
Let’s first explain a phenomenon known as “unboxing” as not all of you follow the
Around a decade ago people would appear on YouTube literally taking things out of boxes.
This might be just people unboxing tech products, and then explaining how that product works,
reviewing it, playing around with it.
This became such a hit that companies would soon start doing their own unboxing videos
or sending their products to popular channels to be unboxed.
It’s not all about How To videos, though.
One of the most popular channels is Ryan’s Toy Review, in which a 7-year old kid opens
Simple perhaps, but Forbes reported that this channel made in the region of $11 million
We bet you wish you’d have come up with that concept and perhaps hired your But for
some people the thought of watching people take things out of boxes and talk about what’s
inside is quite dull.
But what if what was inside the box was a little more exciting than an iPhone iteration
or a miniature plastic Tyrannosaurus Rex made in China.
That’s where today’s focus comes in.
You see, a new trend is people allegedly ordering mystery boxes from the dark web and then opening
them up on YouTube or other video platforms.
As you can imagine, what’s inside is generally not suitable for 7-year olds and often doesn’t
come with a digital personal assistant.
The media tells us that in 2018 hundreds of YouTubers have been unboxing stuff they bought
in marketplaces on the dark web and millions of people have been tuning in.
Just search for this on YouTube and you can find lots of videos, mostly containing young
men expressing their shock while taking things out of boxes.
“Oh my God, there’s blood on it”, one man says in one particular video while a car
baby chair is being taken out of the box.
The question is, how real is all this?
Could you not just set that up from your own home, using ketchup-bloodied props or bags
of baking soda you’d bought from the brightly lit supermarket?
The Australian media tells us that indeed people anonymously sell these boxes on the
dark web and they go for anything from one hundred to one thousand dollars.
Those boxes have included girl’s backpacks, bloodied screwdrivers, and at times they have
even been empty.
In another video on YouTube one unboxer finds a note that reads, “Dear Friend.
Life is a mystery — a very, very dirty mystery at times you never know what you are touching
or what you are leaving behind.”
He is then told to wear gloves while he opens the box and he subsequently takes out the
Those contents are bag of white powder, a tool with a biohazard sticker on it and a
He plays the CD and hears children’s voices, through which he hears the sound of a voice
saying, “I see you.”
Well, that depends on your disposition and perhaps if you can suspend belief, because
maybe all of this is just fiction.
But the fact is, if you have a look in the dark web you can certainly find these mystery
Have a look if you don’t believe us.
The fact this is possible is rather unnerving, given that the box is untraceable.
There is likely a very small chance that something horrible could turn up in a box, rather than
a Hello Kitty school bag.
Mashable tells us this, “Although a lot of this may sound alarming, there's also a
strong a possibility that some of these unboxing videos are faked as means of getting views
and obtaining ad revenue.”
Yep Mashable, we think most people are aware of this.
It’s seems fairly obvious to most of us that if someone really did buy one of these
boxes on the dark web and then video the contents being opened, if those contents could lead
to a criminal charge or at least start a criminal investigation, then that video would not appear
Sometimes the opening of these boxes is called The Deep Web Challenge, but one must always
be skeptical regarding how challenging the unboxing really is.
Perhaps the biggest challenge is acting shocked, shamed, surprised, disconcerted, while making
some creepy form of entertainment.
Now we go over to Reddit, where one person writes this in the intro to a long piece of
writing, “I don’t know why I didn’t realize a clear majority of these videos are
fake and staged for their scare factor, but I didn’t.”
Lo and behold though, when he finally gets around to purchasing a box, he is shocked
to find something that chills his bones.
It’s a book, he says, that contains photos of the house he grew up in.
Each numbered page contains polaroid photos of places, things, but one page he says contained
pictures of “a mask, handcuffs, a gag, and a bottle of some sort of drug it looked like.”
He sees his own parents tied up, himself as a kid…Oh, and then he throws the book away
and sees a hooded figure looking through his window.
It turned out by ordering his box he got his parents killed.
What this is of course is an old trope used in horror movies wherein an added bit of realism
is used in the form of skepticism, i.e.
I don’t believe in the boogeyman, but then this happened to me.
It’s basically the camp fire ghost story, and the best ones use realism to get you listening
and then throw in the scare.
Other stories have appeared on Reddit that are similar, and it seems that some people
believed the tale.
“That is terrifying!
I would contact the authorities right away.
Wish you the best and please keep us posted!” writes one person after reading a wicked tale
of a mystery box.
We can only congratulate the writer of the post and hope that he or she has a great career
in fiction writing.
Are we being too skeptical?
We don’t think we are, but that doesn’t mean some of those videos are well made, well-acted
or well told.
We agree with this person writing on Quora, “The whole idea behind mystery box is all
scam, I have watched many videos on YouTube about mystery box but later come to conclusion
that no sane human-being will be willing to buy a piece of garbage.”
That’s not to say you can’t buy a mystery box on the dark web.
We haven’t ordered one at the Infographics Show, so we can’t say for sure.
We can, however, go on videos and research and conclude that people are unboxing to create
It’s a show, nothing more and nothing less.
Sure, you can find media, mostly of the tabloid ilk, all over the world talking about YouTubers
opening these “sinister” boxes; videos “guaranteed to freak you out”, “100
percent genuine”, that “you won’t believe are real”, but those media are just getting
on the bandwagon and generating their own audience.
You might also accuse us of doing this, but we are at least trying to give you an informed
piece of entertainment.
We are calling these videos out as fake, but at least well-made videos for the most part.
This isn’t to say of course that you can’t find white powder often grown in Colombia
on the dark web.
It doesn’t mean you wouldn’t find that in one of these mystery boxes.
One very real journalist writing for the Independent newspaper did explore the dark web and did
buy illegal things.
But when he talked about mystery boxes, he too was skeptical.
“There were dozens of videos with millions of views, yet there was something that didn’t
seem quite right about them,” he said.
“The contents of the boxes seemed to fit the stereotypes of the dark web so much that
it seemed staged.”
What did he do?
Well, he tried to order a mystery box of course.
Finding one wasn’t that easy, and he had to do a lot of searching.
He writes that he finally found one trusted vendor willing to sell him a mystery box.
He not only sees that others that had bought such a box gave them a thumbs down, but the
seller wanted around $1,500 for the box he wanted.
That is a bit out of the price range for a journo, so he asked the advice of someone
who has written two books about the dark web and has spent years going through it to see
what she could find.
Her name is Eileen Ormsby and a quick search will show you that she is certainly an expert
on the dark web.
This is what she said to the journalist.
“Mystery boxes are just silly.
The ones on YouTube are primarily total hoaxes invented by the YouTubers themselves for the
She did add, though, that now such boxes are popular no doubt someone is taking advantage
of that and selling them, but they are just “full of junk.”
They don’t contain murder weapons or possessed dolls; it’s all just a great big hoax, as
During her investigations into the dark web, that lasted years, she failed to find many
of the gruesome things that supposedly exist in this place.
While arrests have been made of people doing horrid things in the dark web, it’s not
something all over the dark web as we are sometimes led to believe.
As for mystery boxes, the only mystery to us is how some people believe those videos
of them are real.
As you’ve seen Mystery Boxes are really nothing more than a scam, but the fact that
your passwords could currently be for sale on a dark web marketplace should be a serious
concern for any internet user.
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But of course we’d love to hear your thoughts on this?
Tell us in the comments.
Also, be sure to check out our other video How Can Hackers Steal Your Identity?.
Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t forget to like, share and subscribe.
See you next time.