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7 Weird and Utterly Fascinating Facts About Mark Zuckerberg

Photo-Illustration: Intelligencer

Recently, Mark Zuckerberg changed the name of Facebook, the company he founded, to Meta and introduced a virtual-reality world called the “metaverse,” which he described as “the next chapter for the internet.” It’s the company’s latest attempt to further digitize human interaction, by creating a world where you can act as a cartoon hologram of yourself. “Within the metaverse, you’re going to be able to hang out, play games with friends, work, create, and more,” Zuckerberg said on an earnings call. “You’re basically going to be able to do everything that you can on the internet today as well as some things that don’t make sense on the internet today, like dancing.”

This idea is perfectly dystopian for the time we’re living in but also antisocial and just plain strange. If you’ve seen any video clip of Zuckerberg, however, you’re probably well aware that he is a very strange guy. His affect can best be described as “android trapped in a flesh prison” — or, as Zuckerberg himself put it, “I just come across as robotic.” But Zuck’s general vibe is only the tip of the iceberg. Dig deeper into the mind of the tech oligarch and you’ll find he is a man unlike anybody you’ve ever interacted with, in this world or the metaverse.

He allegedly killed a goat with a “laser gun.”

About a decade ago, Zuckerberg went through a phase in which he ate meat only from animals he had killed himself, as one does. During this time, he had Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey over for dinner. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Dorsey recounted the experience when asked about his “most memorable encounter with Zuckerberg.”

“There was a year when he was only eating what he was killing. He made goat for me for dinner. He killed the goat,” Dorsey said. “He killed it before [I got there]. I guess he kills it. He kills it with a laser gun and then the knife. Then they send it to the butcher.”

“A … laser gun?” the interviewer asked.

“I don’t know. A stun gun. They stun it, and then he knifed it,” Dorsey replied. “I go, ‘We’re eating the goat you killed?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘Have you eaten goat before?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, I love it.’ I’m like, ‘What else are we having?’ ‘Salad.’ I said, ‘Where is the goat?’ ‘It’s in the oven.’ Then we waited for about 30 minutes. He’s like, ‘I think it’s done now.’ We go in the dining room. He puts the goat down. It was cold. That was memorable. I don’t know if it went back in the oven. I just ate my salad.”

Speaking of which, he loves “smoking meats.”

In a Facebook Live from Zuckerberg’s backyard in 2016 — which he recorded while preparing to watch a presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, whom his company helped win — the CEO made one thing clear: He simply loves to smoke meats. He couldn’t stop talking about the meats that were being smoked throughout the 32-minute video.

“I’m smokin’ these meats here,” he says at one point. “A little meat smokin’,” he later says in a baby voice to his daughter. “It’s smokin’. I’m the meat chef.”

When asked recently if he has a favorite meme about himself, Zuckerberg said, “Probably, if I had to go with a favorite, I think it’s gotta be smoking meats. I do love grilling and cooking.”

In the video, Zuck also expresses his affinity for Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce. And five years later, it appears the Facebook founder loves the condiment more than ever. In the video announcing the whole Meta thing, he has a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s on the shelf in his living room, serving as a bookend.

His hobbies also include spear throwing.

In June, Zuckerberg posted a slow-motion video of himself throwing a spear into a wooden target while inexplicably wearing ear protection. The caption read, “I have a very particular set of skills,” a reference to the action movie Taken, starring Liam Neeson.

“A trail I wanted to hike is out of hiking permits, but has plenty of hunting permits available,” he explained in a Facebook status update. “That’s basically saying: look you can’t walk here unless you also bring a bow and arrow. So I guess we’re doing this.”

First laser guns, now spears. I fear the day when this man finally discovers guns and becomes the killer robot he was always meant to be.

He thinks Facebook could have prevented the Iraq War.

In a speech Zuckerberg gave at Georgetown in 2019, he expressed a positively bizarre opinion about the website he founded. He said if Facebook had been around in the early aughts, it could have nipped that whole Iraq War business in the bud.

“Back when I was in college, our country had just gone to war in Iraq, and the mood on our campus was disbelief. A lot of people felt like we were acting without hearing a lot of important perspectives, and the toll on soldiers and their families and our national psyche was severe. Yet most of us felt like we were powerless to do anything about it,” he said. “And I remember feeling that if more people had a voice to share their experiences, then maybe it coulda gone differently.”

After building an early version of Facebook, Zuckerberg said, giving his peers the opportunity to express themselves led them to organize “more social events, start more businesses, and even challenge some established ways of doing things on campus. It taught me that while the world’s attention focuses on major events and institutions, the bigger story is that most progress in our lives comes from regular people having more of a voice.”

Keep in mind that Zuckerberg suggested Facebook could have stopped the Iraq War after everything that happened with the 2016 election and the genocide in Myanmar.

His closet is positively deranged.

Zuckerberg may have many billions of dollars, but he owns only one outfit — just, like, a million copies of it. Several years ago, he posted an image of his closet, which was full of the same gray shirts and darker-gray hoodies hanging neatly next to one another.

In 2014, he explained his single outfit, saying, “I feel like I’m not doing my job if I spend any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous about my life.” Yet he seemingly has infinite time to smoke meats.

He put on too much sunscreen that one time as a “disguise.”

Zuckerberg blocking the sun while riding an electric hydrofoil in Hawaii. Photo: AOHAN/MEGA

In 2020, Zuckerberg was photographed riding a $10,000 surfboard, his face painted totally white with sunscreen and looking like a wet mime. Unsurprisingly, the internet went wild over this image, a perfect distraction back in the early days of the pandemic.

Earlier this year, he attempted to explain what the heck he was doing that day. “I noticed there was this paparazzi guy following us, and so I was like, Oh, I don’t want him to recognize me, so you know what I’m gonna do? I’m just gonna put a ton of sunscreen on my face,” he told Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri. “And that backfired.”

There’s a photo of him sitting alone in a roomful of balloons.

I don’t know what to make of this, but here it is.

7 Weird and Utterly Fascinating Facts About Mark Zuckerberg