It's very important that you complete the following steps in this exact order for any of this to make sense: Open a new tab. Google "When was running invented?" Put your phone down. Slide to the left. Slide to the right. Criss-cross. Criss-cross. Cha cha real smooth. Pick your phone back up. Look at your result. Come back to this tab. Did you get some variation on "Running was invented in [random year in the 17th or 18th century] by Thomas Running when he tried to walk twice at the same time"?
There's nothing witchy going on here: Everyone gets that, regardless of whether they do the "Cha Cha Slide." Why would Google give you such a weird and hilariously wrong answer? It all started in 2017 when someone presumably named Andrew Nadeau tweeted the joke. It isn't even that popular on Twitter -- to date, it has 5,000 retweets, which isn't nothing, but also doesn't even come close to the number of retweets Justin Bieber gets every time he has lunch -- but it spread throughout Reddit, Quora, and the rest of the Internet's question-answering avenues as a meme.
It also happens to be exactly the kind of sentence that Google looks for when it detects a question. It answers the "what" ("Running was invented"), "when" ("1612" or "1748" or whatever"), "who" ("Thomas Running"), and "how" ("he tried to walk twice at the same time"). That's four of the "Five Ws and One H Nobody Talks To." All of that comes together in a powerful potion of SEO sorcery to make it the natural answer, as far as the algorithm is concerned, to the question "When was running invented?"
It's also, of course, a nonsense question. That means there's no real answer for it, so the joke answer that became a meme and happened to be structured in perfect answer form floats to the top. It's less likely that you'll get a troll answer to a real question, but hey, who among us has never Googled a stupid question? It's just that no one has created a meme out of the rest of your search history -- yet. Always check your sources, kids.
Manna got 500 retweets one time, but it was about Power Rangers. You can find it here.
Top image: Ricky Bennison/Wikimedia Commons