Saddam Hussein's Hiding Place meme format depicting the original illustration of Saddam's hiding place before he was captured.

Saddam Hussein's Hiding Place

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Updated Feb 06, 2024 at 12:01PM EST by Philipp.

Added Jun 28, 2021 at 11:03AM EDT by Philipp.

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Related Explainer: What's Up With Memes About 'Saddam Hussein's Hiding Place'? Red Silhouette Diagrams Explained

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Saddam Hussein's Hiding Place refers to a 2003 illustration by the BBC that depicts Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's hiding place in which he was found and captured. In June 2021, the illustration went viral following a tweet comparing it to a rented apartment, with humorous edits of the image following in late June 2021.


On December 13th, 2003, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was captured during Operation Red Dawn by American military forces.[1] The dictator was found hiding in a spider hole at one of two search sites in Ad-Dard, Iraq.

On December 14th, 2003, BBC[2] reported on the capture of Hussein. In the English article and its translated versions, an illustration of the spider hole Hussein was hiding in, titled "Saddam's Hiding Place," was used (English version shown below).

On December 15th, 2003, the illustration in the BBC[3] article was replaced with a more detailed version (shown below, left, photograph of the spider-hole shown below, right).


On January 9th, 2015, Tumblr[4] user metagrammed posted the earliest found edit of the image which received 64 likes and reblogs in six years (authorship unconfirmed, shown below).


The image did not see viral spread until August 24th, 2020, when Twitter[5] user @Chigurh_Crash used it for a Mentally I'm Here joke that received over 1,600 retweets and 17,100 likes in one year. Later on the same day, Twitter[6] user @piixietit2 used the image in a joke about renting an apartment that received over 1,400 retweets and 12,800 likes in the same period (shown below, right).

Nikola Jokić Agitprop Account @Chigurh_Crash ... mentally I am here SADDAM'S HIDING PLACE |Entrance hidden by bricks and rubble |Saddam Hussein 6ft Air vent IFan 8:37 AM · Aug 24, 2020 · Twitter for Android iris @piixietit2 ... landlords be like "£500 a month, no pets, bills included" SADDAM'S HIDING PLACE |Entrance hidden by bricks and rubble |Saddam Hussein 6ft Air vent Fan 5:56 PM - Aug 24, 2020 · Twitter for iPhone

The image saw brief popularity in August 2020, mainly through reposts of @piixietit2's joke.[7][8] The image did not see active use in memes until June 16th, 2021, when Twitter[9] user @postingtwink posted a meme that received over 10,600 retweets and 129,600 likes in two weeks (shown below, left). On June 17th, Twitter[10] user @JustTooManyDads replied with an edit of the image in which a "gaming room" was added, with their tweet gaining over 510 retweets and 11,500 likes (shown below, right).

SADDAM'S HIDING PLACE |Entrance hidden by bricks and rubble Gaming Room ft |Saddam Hussein 6ft Air vent IFan

Both tweets received viral spread in the following days,[11][12] with more edits of the image posted on Twitter,[13] Facebook,[14] Reddit[15] and other social media in late June 2021. For example, a version posted by Tumblr[16] user whenthebeatdropsimgoingtokms on June 26th received over 10,300 likes and reblogs in three days.

Nutty Putty Cave Incident

The Nutty Putty Cave Incident refers to a fatal incident that took place in 2009 in a hydrothermal cave near Utah Lake in Utah during which a spelunker exploring the cave became stuck in a narrow dead end and subsequently died 28 hours later after rescue attempts failed. A subject of several popular YouTube videos, in November 2023 the incident inspired jokes and social media discussions following a viral X / Twitter post.

Morbid Knowledge @Morbidful A diagram of how John Edward Jones was stuck for 27 hours in nutty putty cave before passing away. 11:42 AM . Nov 29, 2023 68.7M Views : 0.***

Various Examples

Hole for air Main chamber Cubs' chamber Entrance tunnel Saddam Hussein Up to 3 cubs are born at one time. Some dens have a lower chamber. Saddam Hussein CTRL+ALT+DEL BY TIM BUCKLEY "LOSS" GENC Saddam Hussein
SADDAM'S HIDING PLACE |Entrance hidden by bricks and rubble |Saddam Hussein Air vent IFan


SADDAM'S HIDING PLACE |Entrance hidden by bricks and rubble Saddam Hussein 6ft Air vent |Fan

Search Interest

External References

[1] Wikipedia – Operation Red Dawn

[2] Angelfire – How Saddam Hussein was captured

[3] BBC – How Saddam Hussein was captured

[4] Tumblr – metagrammed

[5] Twitter – @Chigurh_Crash

[6] Twitter – @piixietit2

[7] Facebook – Best of the housing crisis

[8] Reddit – MTV Cribs Iraq

[9] Twitter – @postingtwink

[10] Twitter – @JustTooManyDads

[11] Reddit – rule

[12] Facebook – Viva La Meme Man

[13] Twitter – @lishainik

[14] Facebook – Chauncey Extreme

[15] Reddit – Only The Essentials

[16] Tumblr – whenthebeatdropsimgoingtokms

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