Uncovering the Mystery Behind the Facebook Giraffe Riddle

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IA - Lazada

If you’ve woken up baffled that your friends have mysteriously transformed into weird contorted giraffes (some are really quite cute) overnight, then this might be an eye-opener for you. The riddle started spreading like wildfire a couple of days ago, and I mostly ignored it until last night.

The riddle goes something like this (there are some variations but the essence of the riddle is the same):

So here’s the deal.

The deal is I give you a riddle. You get it right you get to keep your profile pic. You get it wrong and you change your profile pic to a Giraffe for the next 3 days.


Here is the riddle: 3:00 am, the doorbell rings and you wake up. Unexpected visitors, it’s your parents and they are there for breakfast. All you have is strawberry jam, honey, wine, bread and cheese. What is the first thing you open? Remember… message me only. If you get it right I’ll post your name here. If you get it wrong, change your profile pic!

Judging from my Facebook profile pic, well…

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It’s been fun watching friends and family participating and getting it wrong. I think the wrong-to-right ratio’s something like 80:20 (see, the 80/20 rule applies to everything!).

But wait, I’m pretty sure you’re as curious as I am on how this started, where and why.

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RIP, Millie.

The story behind the giraffe riddle

With a little bit of digging (thanks Google), I found a news article by the BBC dated 30 October 2012. It tells the tragic story of a nine-month old girl who died after choking on food. Her name was Millie Elizabeth Josephine Thompson, born on 12 January 2012. On 23 October 2012, she could not be saved from a choking incident at Ramillies Hall School and Nursery at Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, England. Ramillies is a small school that offers education for children aged 6 months to 16 years.

In tribute to the loss of Millie, Millie’s Trust was established by Millie’s parents in December 2012 to raise awareness in Paediatric First Aid. The trust is open to everyone, and encourages all to take part in a First Aid Course, no matter how young or old.

Wait, that doesn’t explain the giraffe bit
Hang on, we’ll get there. Chester Zoo celebrated the birth of a rare giraffe on 25 March 2013 – the Rothschild giraffe, the world’s most endangered sub-species of giraffe. Conservationists believe there are now less than 670 Rothschild giraffes left in the wild, having lost their natural habitat in native Kenya and Uganda. The zoo decided to name the rare giraffe calf, Millie, in memory of Millie Thompson.

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Subsequently, Millie’s Trust is supporting Chester Zoo, and encouraging people to visit Millie the Giraffe as she grows, as does the charity. Millie’s Trust is hoping to raise money for Chester Zoo to help support Millie the Giraffe’s upbringing.

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Welcome to the world, Millie the Giraffe!

So who’s behind the riddle?
It’s strange, but nobody really knows the origin of the riddle, whether it was from Millie’s Trust directly or Chester Zoo. But what’s clear is that it raises awareness for both the charity, and Millie the Giraffe. Whoever concocted the viral campaign though, one word – brilliant.

So, don’t feel bad if you got the riddle wrong. You’ve done it for a good cause.

In memory of Millie Elizabeth Josephine Thomson
(12 January 2012 – 23 October 2012);

And to a strong and healthy Millie the Giraffe!

Special thanks to Sharifah Fauziah Aslree for helping me kickstart the uncovering.

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In Millie we trust

Sources and links:

  • Show Comments (76)

  • Vernon Chan

    Thanks for the link. October 26, huh? Hmmm… more investigation needed 🙂

  • Thet Mendoza

    This is cool but i just wanna ask, where/what email add should i’ll be sending the answer, thank you.

    • vernieman

      Hey Thet,
      This is done via Facebook. So if you haven’t received any from a friend or family, you can also send your answer to http://facebook.com/vernonchancom

  • Stephen Conybeare

    The mind is opened first by the sound of the doorbell, not the eyes

  • than broncano


  • Wayne

    Won’t do anything as its my stupid wireless doorbell. Nothing happens unless I hear hammering

    • vernieman


  • Angela Mylie-rai Mckenzie-Dean

    your eyes then ur door

  • Angela Mylie-rai Mckenzie-Dean

    your eyes

  • Kat Hurt

    The door

  • Lana Noreene Knight Cannon


  • Max Rosen

    Gun. To check for bullets to shoot whoever is trying to get into your house at 3am.

    • Vernon Chan

      ROFL. Love the answer.

  • TracyB123

    It’s a scam for hackers

    • Zippo

      No it isn’t, that rumour has been debunked. Anyway there is no way hackers could use your using a giraffe as your profile pic to hack your computer. There isn’t even one link or just one giraffe picture!

    • vernieman

      Yeah, it’s just a nasty rumour.

  • Doff


  • sam murphy


  • Alias

    of course you open your eyes first… you were asleep…!!

  • janeight

    ofcourse your already wake so maybe your door in the room hahaha 😀

  • janeight


  • Anna Baars


  • Kevin Rohan Thomas

    Your eyes.

  • karen

    the door

  • Bhanu Achan

    i won’t open anything because its 3 am. who the hell will have breakfast at 3 am??

    • Vernon Chan

      HAHAHAHA. Good one!

  • chel marquez


  • Katrina Morriss

    It would be great for raising awareness for both of these things but unless people read this article they would have no idea that is what it is for. I just thought it was a silly FB game and am pretty sure most people believe the same thing. I am very sad for the family that lost their beautiful baby girl to chocking.

    • Vernon Chan

      Exactly why I decided to do some digging and posted this article, Katrina. Do share this out even if you don’t play the riddle. Many people don’t know about this.

  • mark

    First open the msg account of who write the riddle because you need to pm her/him…

    • Vernon Chan

      Yes, you’re supposed to be replying via PM 😛 Thanks for the PSA. 🙂

  • Margaret Underwood Martin

    the door

  • Kumakuma


  • Moonshadow

    The first thing I open is my mouth….I open it to yawn….before I open my eyes.

    • Vernon Chan


  • mylene

    Open the close.

  • Kat de lemos jaravata

    It should be the “Eyes”.^_^

  • mylene


  • Kaddle Ann Grifalda Tolosa

    DOOR ..

  • abby

    the door… 🙂

  • John Paul Montalbo


  • Mc Olrac’z

    Open first what is close…This riddle is similar to a person taking a bath. what part of the body you gonna wet first?

    • Mc Olrac’z

      You wet first the dry part…

    • Vernon Chan


  • Matt Curr

    what if you yawn before u open yr eyes.

    • Vernon Chan

      Open mouth. ROFL

    • Vernon Chan

      Open mouth first? ROFL.

  • erwin


  • Door not eyes

    The very sentence that you have woken up and see that it was unexpected visitors showed you already opened your eyes. Next would be the door. So ‘eyes’ will be illogical here.

    • yewnique

      I totally agree!!

      ‘Door’ makes so much more sense!

    • Vernon Chan

      Unfortunately life just doesn’t make sense sometimes! Ugh.

    • ummmmm

      It never says you see that it’s your parents or even that you know that it is them, yet. It just says it IS your parents. It’s no different than the fact that it never says you let your parents in, which would be why you’d need to open the door. So, use the same logic that got you that far and take it back a step. Open your (ahem) eyes 😉

    • nonwzisgdnwz

      It never says you opened your eyes after waking, or actually got out of bed, or opened the door, OR served them breakfast. Just states facts about who was there ringing and what kind of food you had on hand. Any action in the story is based on assumption. No right or wrong answer but a great logic exercise.

    • Vernon Chan

      It’s power of observation exercise. We tend to jump into conclusions. And so we’re turned into giraffes! 😀

    • ummmmm

      It never says you see that it’s your parents or even that you know that it is them, yet. It just says it IS your parents. It’s no different than the fact that it never says you let your parents in, which would be why you’d need to open the door. So, use the same logic that got you that far and take it back a step. Open your (ahem) eyes 😉

    • Vernon Chan

      I so agree with you. But I also had to change my profile pic to a giraffe’s. ROFL

  • Bhanu Achan


  • Eric Lim

    but the answer is so simple? Open the damn fucking door first!

    • guest

      you eyes comes first before the door hehehee.,.

    • Vernon Chan

      But, but… you’re a giraffe!

    • Vernon Chan


  • Mar’z

    Door 🙂

    • Guest
  • Pianex Sobude

    Millie’s Trust doesn’t seem to know about the game. It can’t be from them…

    • vernieman

      Yeah, whoever it is, well done 🙂

    • Vernon Chan

      Yeah, so it’s still a mystery who started it 🙂

    • Crystal

      some guy in Australia

    • Vernon Chan

      Oh yeah? Where’s the source of this? Interested to find out more.

    • Crystal

      A simple Google search would’ve helped ya 🙂 Now this could be total bs too, but…

      I’ve also seen some reports after my 1st post that hes from New Zealand 🙂

    • Vernon Chan

      yeah, still a mystery. Which is kinda cool 😀

  • Paxforex

    Lol, nice one. I don’t want to spoil it for others but I think the answer is obvious 🙂

    • vernieman

      Many got it wrong including yours truly!

    • Mandy Spooneybarger

      so far everyone who said the answer was obvious got it wrong LOL

    • Vernon Chan

      ROFL. That’s what I thought when I first answered. Look where there got me.

    • Vernon Chan

      Yeah. Look where it got me!

    • Paxforex

      Let’s just say the first thing you open is not on the list.

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