Traffic, “uniques,” clicks, or whatever you want to call them, are all really dumb ways for measuring how good a story is. But very occasionally, incredible stories aren’t just brilliant, they’re also wildly popular. So with that in mind, these were the most popular stories we published in the past year.
Most of the stories that we love, very few people actually read. I mean, was a contextual analysis painstakingly enumerating the sequence of events in a bad horror movie from over 25 years ago not good enough for you people? What about a cathartic history of the post-race donut?
And how come none of you care about a Nazi-accusing, possibly wife-stealing gigolo that now has a Bugatti named after him?
You should all go read those. Those are good stories.
But in the meantime, these are the ones you all wanted to read. And some of them are actually pretty good.
To find them we ran all of 2015’s stories to date through the Jalopnik Mainframe—the gasohol-powered, room-sized network of Atari 5200s stored in Jackie Mason’s masouleum—and had it calculate our biggest traffic hits of the year. Here’s what it came up with.
We’re still dealing with the aftereffects of Dieselgate, and most know of the particulars by now, but if you just crawled out of a hole somewhere in the Kazakh steppes after being lured there by an old-school Bond villain, this is where you start. It’s got everything you could love – lies! Cheating! Germans! Hatchbacks! And all of that everything pushed it to over 650,000 views.
This weird torpedo-shaped robot was a big mystery when it was snagged by a Chinese fisherman back in August, and it’s still a bit of a mystery.
Unsurprisingly, no one’s stepped up to claim the ‘bot loaded with high-tech surveillance gear. Has anyone lost their super-secret underwater spy robot? If it’s yours, please let us know in the comments below.
Overzealous regulators, innocent vehicle owners, and one of the best trucks ever came together to make this one incredibly tragic and fascinating story. It’s a plea for rationality and a fight for enthusiasts, all at the same time.
You would think that the latest and supposedly greatest fighter jet in the American arsenal would be able to easily wipe the floor with its daddy in a dogfight. Yeah, apparently that’s not the case at all. At least it’s not too expensive.
If you wanted to do a bit of saber-rattling, traditionally you’d just issue a terse press release about how some island belongs to someone and not someone else, and then you’d go sell a bunch of weapons to a third party, which your opponent would then make some noises about, but that was it. Now you need to do it up big, with a fancy video and everything. Bring back the good old days.
Our third and final post from Foxtrot Alpha on this list with more than 680,000 views, it’s got all of the weirdness that makes anything great. Take a big cargo plane, make it bristle with enormous cannons, and then flip it upside down. What could go wrong, besides everything?
We didn’t even write one of our most popular posts. This one comes from OppositeLock, our reader-run forum, back when it was on the .Jalopnik domain. (It’s its own .Kinja animal now, with the inmates fully in charge of the asylum.) As they say, one man’s alternator is another man’s turbo.
If you’re going to go that fast, make sure you know what you’re doing. Somehow both occupants of the Lamborghini survived the crash at over 200 MPH, although the passenger suffered severe injuries.
CNN founder Ted Turner made a wild video in the media mainstay’s early days, meant only to be seen right before the actual apocalypse. It was meant to stay locked away until that moment, but then a tipster sent it to us. It didn’t have anything to do with cars at all, but when you get something that good, you can’t pass it up. Also, spoiler alert.
A lot of you apparently like watching motorcycles crashing. With over 1.3 million views, this was pretty much the perfect Internet story. Two innocent victims, an unfeeling, unrelenting antagonist, and, oh yeah, a big crash, it had pretty much everything. Everything that you heartless rubberneckers love.
Monsters, all of you.