Earlier this week, the mostly adolescent user base of cartoon social network Club Penguin was stunned to find out that the online service would shut down its current incarnation, as a desktop web app, and transition to mobile devices. It will go offline at the end of March. Club Penguin, which is owned by Disney, is among the most-well-known social networks for young adults: Everyone is a penguin, and you walk around a virtual town chatting with people, typing messages, and participating in activities like dance parties and games.
Club Penguin’s kid-friendly aesthetic has often lent itself to surreal shenanigans, like in November, when one server hosted a brief protest against then-President-elect Donald Trump.
So, it’s weird. Anyway, one location on every server is the Iceberg, which is exactly what it sounds like — an iceberg, that hosts a huge penguin dance party. For years, there have been rumors that if enough penguins were on the iceberg, it would flip over. The game even hinted at this, according to the unofficial Club Penguin wiki, by displaying a painting of a tipped iceberg in another of the game’s locations. Even Know Your Meme has a rejected entry on the rumor, created six years ago and last updated five years ago. The official Club Penguin account referenced the quixotic effort last September.
Iceberg tipping has been a rumor practically since Club Penguin launched in 2005, according to @pingu15cool. “I started playing Club Penguin since January 2008 and through out the years every time I have been on a busy server, there has always been a large group of penguins at the Iceberg trying to tip it,” @pingu15cool told me. “Most Penguins will be wearing a yellow hard hat drilling and some other penguins might be dancing. No one stood still or we all believed it wouldn’t tip otherwise. So everyone who has been on Club Penguin knows about tipping the Iceberg.”
The kids of Club Penguin have been trying to tip the iceberg for more than a decade. There are tons of videos and comment sections discussing the theory. Also at stake was the possibility of an in-game reward. What riches would a tipped iceberg bestow upon the community?
But it never happened … until yesterday. With the announcement that Club Penguin would be shutting down in order to shift to mobile, the game makers decided to host one last party, a community-wide sendoff known as the Waddle On Party. In the comments of the blog post announcing the shutdown and farewell, community manager Megg hinted at a secret.
“The Club Penguin team decided for the final party to program and code the Iceberg so it can finally tip!” @pingu15cool explained. “So some of the theories are actually correct about penguins drilling or dancing at a certain place to actually tip the Iceberg. It does take a few minutes now at the party to actually tip it. CP staff haven’t made it easy.”
According to the newly updated Iceberg entry on the CP wiki:
The Iceberg can tip over if at least 5 players in the room are wearing Blue, walking a Blue Puffle [virtual pet], and dancing while wearing a Hard Hat. The Iceberg tips over, revealing a large dance floor, a bin of Iceberg Tipper hats, a buoy numbered 11, and a plaque with many carvings and an inscription on it that reads “Together, we can build an island, create a community, and even tip an iceberg. Waddle on.”
You can watch it happen here.
With a decadelong mystery put to rest, Club Penguin players can finally move on … to Club Penguin Islands, launching later this year.