“Bored Ape Nazi Club?”

Mockery & “Troll Olympics?” BAYC “Nazi” Story to Be Continued

Seems we’ve all been screwed by the hype around the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection, which has already surpassed $2.2 billion in total sales. Remember earlier this year, we told you about a theory regarding the hidden meaning behind the BAYC collection?

The OneArt team was sure a sequel would follow soon — and here it is. Philion, a YouTuber with 715,000 subscribers, has released an hour-long video featuring the results of research launched by Ryder Ripps half a year ago. A bit later the BAYC founders responded:

And finally they’ve filed a lawsuit against Ryder Ripps for devaluing the collection.

Here’re the research’s highlights, followed by some of the BAYC team’s answers. Lovers of conspiracy theories and riddles of the art market are welcome.


According to Philion and other researchers:

  • BAYC is an “alt-right inside joke” and a social experiment to manipulate people not having in-depth knowledge of 4chan internet culture fueled by pseudo-intellectualists obsessed with esoteric ideas.
  • Preferring an ape to any other image is a deliberate message. To convey racist messages, BAYC uses symianization, i.e., comparing or likening racial or ethnic groups to apes.
  • BAYC NFTs feature racist caricatures.
  • BAYC NFT owners should “burn” their tokens.
Source: CoinDesk

Need some examples? Here we go with the top 7 whopping ones

  1. As per researchers, the BAYC logo looks like the Nazi “Totenkopf.” It also has a rough edge and 18 teeth, with 18 being an alphanumeric code for Adolf Hitler where 1=A and 8=H.
Source: BAYC website

2. Yuga Labs pay homage to the Hashmasks project launched by a Suum Cuique Labs company. Latin suum cuique stands for “to each his own.” This phrase was used on Prussian helmets, and its German variant ­ — Jedem das Seine — was displayed over the entrance of Buchenwald.

An ape wearing a Prussian helmet. Source: OpenSea

3. Sass — a co-founder’s username on Twitter — resembles a combination of the Nazi divisions’ names.

EmperorTomatoKetchup is a name of Japanese film banned in many countries with kids having overthrown and enslaved adults and a boy in a Nazi uniform raping a woman. However, the Yuga Labs co-founder claims it refers to the Stereolab album.

Gargamel from The Smurfs is considered a stereotype of a Jew. 4chan uses the term to talk about Jews, while Gargamel refers to Ludwig Wittgenstein, who is alleged to have impacted Hitler. Finally, Gordon Goner looks like an anagram of a drongo (a word popular on 4chan meaning “dumbass”) negro.

4. Check out this severed hand on the Bosch-styled Rolling Stone cover:

Source: Rolling Stone

In Congo, Belgian colonists used to amputate Congolese hands for failing to extract enough rubber. Moreover, they smoked those hands to preserve for later counting.

5. The BAYC puzzle includes naval flags and the NATO alphabet. One of its solutions is Guenon which refers not only to Old World monkeys but also to René Guénon, a philosopher who has allegedly brought the Kali Yuga concept into western culture. He is memed on 4chan.

Another one is Australopithecus. Australopithecus afarensis was discovered by Ludwig Kohl-Larsen, a Nazi party member. Nazi used the discovery to prove Africans were less evolved than Aryans.

6. The #1488 ape is wearing a prison uniform with 019807. Zero padding in cryptography implies adding 0 to the cipher. When omitting zeros, we get 1987 — the year Rudolph Hess, a leading Nazi Party member, died in prison.

Source: OpenSea

7. Some apes wear a Vietnam War-era helmet with a Jack of Spades card. American soldiers would leave an ace of spades on dead Vietnamese. J stands for Jewish the author assumes ­ — in Nazi Germany, Jews wore J to be easily identified.

Source: OpenSea

What do BAYC creators say?

Well, they prefer plausible denials. In January, Yuga Labs responded to the statements about the inspiration behind its name, BAYC, and its logo:

Yuga Labs CEO Nicole Muniz claimed the idea the founders were neo-nazis was “offensive, hurtful, and totally untrue,” as the founders are ethnic. She referred to the slang word “ape in,” which means “to invest all of your available money in a cryptocurrency with haste.” The Urban Dictionary associates the origin of this term with the “apes together strong” meme.

Source: Know Your Meme

In June, they wrote a rebuttal letter, responding to “insanely far-fetched” allegations. As for the logo, it has references to punk, streetwear, maritime flags, and logos of other yacht clubs. Mark Pitcavage of ADL’s Center on Extremism hasn’t found any signs of connection between BAYC logo and that of Nazis (learn more).

Source: Gordon Goner

Yuga has nothing to do with white supremacy and refers to a villain in Zelda, “era” in Sanskrit, and the age of humankind we’re currently in.

And the cherry on the cake: “none of the founders are good at ciphers or puzzles.”

Final thoughts

Don’t know how to unsee these symbols now? Welcome to the conspiracy club.

And still, it’s hard to believe the BAYC team could support neo-Nazis. The idea that they’re “pulling off the biggest troll in internet history” and playing their favorite 4chan sports sounds more plausible. We wonder when the next episode of the “Hidden BAYC Meaning” is to be launched, if it features the story about celebrities and possible NDAs signing, what the court is going to say, and whether the investigation isn’t a part of a BAYC promo campaign.

OneArt will keep abreast of a topic. Stay in touch! And don’t burn your BAYC. At least for now.

Follow official OneArt channels to find the latest info and updates:



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store