Calling all code breakers: are you in the mood for a scavenger hunt? Is Pokémon Go not doing it for you anymore? How about an international treasure hunt for a statue that could be anywhere? Thank Alex Hirsch, the creator of Gravity Falls, for a hunt that will test your ciphering skills and help you remember your favorite show.
You can find the Bill Cipher statue. It’s real. For Gravity Falls fans, this is a huge deal.
Spoilers for Gravity Falls below, which is a show you should totally watch if you haven’t already.
If you’re not a fan, please let me explain. Gravity Falls was a cartoon that ran on Disney XD from 2012 until February of 2016, where it ended its run after two seasons. It followed the adventures of twins Dipper and Mabel Pines, who went to spend the summer with their uncle in the Oregon town of Gravity Falls. In the tradition of shows like Twin Peaks, the twins encounter the weird and the unexplained, from ghosts, to shape-shifters, to formerly unknown Presidents of the United States that were frozen for centuries.
What made the show so special—besides its amazing voice acting, outrageous humor, and heartwarming character moments—was its reliance on code breaking. At the end of each episode, viewers were presented with a jumbled assortment of letters that they could crack. Some were hidden jokes, but others were bits of foreshadowing that were sometimes incredibly bleak and foreboding. In the tie-in book Dipper’s and Mabel’s Guide to Mystery and Nonstop Fun! one decoded message stated, “The end of the world is closer than the end of summer,” which is always great to tell kids.
It was still a clever way to keep fans engaged, especially since the show had such a strange airing schedule.
Hirsch said at the time that it was his decision to end the series, which did have a satisfying conclusion. The end of the world (dubbed “Weirdmageddon”) comes to Gravity Falls, our heroes stop the Big Bad, a yellow triangle of doom named Bill Cipher who was basically the devil, and the world is restored to (relative) normalcy. However, at the very end of the credits, fans were greeted with the vine-covered image of Bill, seemingly stuck in the dirt somewhere. You can see it at around 1:14 in the clip below.
Speculation flew, wondering if this was real. Where would it be located and could people go and find it? Apparently, it is, and yes, you can go looking for it.
Hirsch takes credit for the hunt on Twitter, along with some rules so that people don’t do anything stupid.
So far clues have already been found in Japan and in Russia. It’s gotten to the point where people are asking Pokémon Go players for help over on Reddit.
You can follow along with the hashtag #CipherHunt and over at the official megathread. As one of the messages in the original code states, “DON’T FORGET IT’S ALL FOR PLEASURE - THE HUNT ITSELF’S THE REAL TREASURE.”
Correction: We originally reported that Gravity Falls was canceled. It was in fact ended by the creator. We regret the error.