Surfing for the Sunda Pangolin

The Sunda pangolin, looking derpily smug.
Piekfrosch [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]

If you’re ever bored, and need something to do online, go to, and look in that left hand menu. You’ll notice the random article link. Click the link and try to get from that article to the one on the Sunda pangolin, entirely by clicking links on the article pages you find. No searching allowed.

Here’s the wikipedia article for the Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica), so you know what you’re looking for.

This is a great logic and reasoning game, and you need nothing but some computer time to play it. No waiting for downloads, no real demands on your system. Here’s an example of a round, and one path back to the pangolin.

CiarĂ¡n Slevin (Irish hurling center forward) => Category: living people => Category: lists of living people => List of living British princes and princesses => Charles, Prince of Wales => Tropical rainforest conservation => Rainforest => Indonesia => Fauna of Indonesia => List of mammals of Indonesia => (under Order Pholidota) Sunda pangolin WIN!!!

There are a few strategies and tips I can give you for how to find the pangolin faster and more effectively. Work towards broad categories from your initial random page, and choose articles that will have a lot of text in them, and hopefully a lot of links. Think about how things are connected, if there’s anything that an article might share. In this case, the Irish hurler is connected to the Sunda pangolin by backing up to living people, and then realizing I might be able to use royals’ charitable interests to connect to the pangolin. I’ll give you another example round, so you can see how this works.

10 Color Singles (Okay, so it’s a Japanese music album, and there’s a lucky link to Okinawa, maybe I can use geography to get to Java, and from there to the pangolin.) => Okinawa Prefecture (nuts, not so many geography links, but there is a section on climate of Okinawa) => Tropical rainforest climate => Indonesia => Fauna of Indonesia => List of mammals of Indonesia => (under Order Pholidota) Sunda pangolin GOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLL! Nice.

Notice how once we found the pangolin the first time, it is much easier when we realize we’re on the same path? We don’t have to find the Sunda pangolin anymore, we just have to find the page for Indonesia, which is likely to be linked in lots of places, and then follow the path to the pangolin.

Try surfing for the Sunda pangolin yourself, or, if it is getting too easy, just click random link once, remember the page, maybe write it down, and then try to navigate back to it when you click random link again. The link surfing game is a great way to test your reasoning about how things might be connected, and be creative and logical about how to link two literally random topics. The connections are there, all you have to do is surf them.