Oct. 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM ET
Feel like you've been hearing "Gangnam Style" a lot lately? Say, 1.2 billion times? That's the number of online plays scored for either the original video, spoofs, mashups or other re-cuts of South Korean rapper PSY's surrealist hip-hop–ish video, according to analysis firm Visible Measures.
By now, "Gangnam Style" may have wiped out the memory of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," which, in all its permutations, has hit 998 million. That's despite Jepsen's song being out since March, whereas "Gangnam Style" first hit the Interwebs in July.
Only about a third of those "Gangnam Style" plays, 438 million, have been of the original video. The rest come from more than 600 user-created versions, according to Visible Measures.
That's a lot more than "Call Me Maybe" inspired — probably because the crazy outfits, gyrations and dance ensembles of the Korean sensation permit more creative interpretations than did Jepsen's video, which mostly inspired incongruous lip syncing.
Some of the "Gangnam Style" YouTube clips earning a million or more views (sometimes far more) include "Gunman Style," "Gandalf Style," "Jewish Style," and "Klingon Style" (sung in actual Klingon). West Point cadets, a Cornell University flash mob and a mother-son team join in as well.
Videos span the range of technology, from Machinima choreography by manipulating characters in the game "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" to this lovely 8-bit recreation.
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