What's the deal with the vertically oriented igneous intrusion meme?

Yasmine Leung October 13, 2021
Photo by: Geography Photos/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A Tumblr post involving the phrase ‘vertically oriented igneous intrusion’ has been circulating on Reddit, but why is the meme taboo?

Geology humour goes Reddit viral

Tumblr’s no longer popular, but that won’t stop content from spreading on other platforms.

An educational yet subtly rude joke was posted to Reddit and has since gained attention not for its hilariousness, but how confused it’s left the audience (unless you’re into geology).

The joke reads:

Straight guy geologist describing a vertically oriented igneous intrusion to his buddy: it’s a . well. I’m not sure I can reclaim this one just get over here.

Don’t get it? Us neither, but we’ve got the explanation after some digging.

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What is a vertically oriented igneous intrusion?

The joke is that a vertically oriented igneous intrusion is known as a dike, which can be spelt as the D-word used to describe lesbian women. That is why the heterosexual male geologist struggled to explain the term without saying the offensive slur, and had to speak to his buddy more privately.

Other than being a mouthful, vertically oriented igneous intrusions/dikes are sheets of rock that cut through the layers of the surrounding areas of rock. They are formed when molten magma is pushed up into the bodies of rock, cool and become crystallised.

Only vertical intrusions are known as dikes; horizontal intrusions are called sills.

Did anyone understand the meme?

There aren’t many that understood the joke, but there is at least one Redditor who got the gist, and they had their four weeks of engineering geology to thank for that.

For others, the meme went over their heads and one even thought vertically oriented igneous intrusion were stalagmites, which wouldn’t make any sense.

Turns out, dike has multiple meanings: it is also an artificial structure used as a barrier to hold back water, like a levee or embankment.

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Yasmine is a third-year Anthropology and Media student at Goldsmiths University with a new obsession with League of Legends, despite being really bad. She's always on social media keeping on top of the latest news and trends and is HITC’s expert in Korean pop culture. She also loves music, TV and fashion - her favourite things to write about.