In the process of writing this blog, I’ve been doing a lot of research, and a common factor that keeps coming up is that there are “deeper” levels of the dark web than the ones that we commonly see (e.g. Tor, I2P, Freenet).
One of the urban legends of this nature that’s been passed around is that of the so-called “Mariana’s Web,” which was likely based on the infographic that described levels of the web as being akin to layers of the ocean. I’m almost 100% certain that this is pure myth, and was invented by someone who wanted to troll people who had never used Tor or other darknets.
And now, supposedly, I’m hearing about another layer of the web called “TsalalNet,” which I’ve come across on sites like this one: Girls Who Like Dragons: tsalalnet. While I’ve never “been to” this part of the web (if it exists at all), my feeling is that it should be lumped together with the Shadow Web and the Mariana’s Web – a pure urban legend. I believe this in particular because the paragraph below has been reproduced entirely on several different websites; they call them “creepypastas” for a reason!
Notwithstanding, I’ll share the source of the “legend” with you here:
“A lot of discussion has been going around on the subject of the Deep Web (also called Deepnet, the invisible Web, DarkNet, Undernet or the hidden web), though little has been discussed on TsalalNet. I could understand why though; it’s one of the more obscure sites in there. Even for veteraned [sic] members of the deep web, it still remains to be one of the less discussed sites on there.
TsalalNet is a site reserved for the unexplainable areas of the deep web, a place dedicated to media and discussion of the strange and unusual. Most videos and images contain the usual content found on deep web sites, including child pornography, snuff videos, etc., but with what is described by many as an unusual edge or underlying factor to it all.
The content found in TsalalNet may trouble even some of the [veterans, as] the raw footage of acts including necrophilia or snuff contain a layer of the mystical or unnatural that could not be explained. Unworldly sounds are heard in accompaniment to the usual grotesque sounds, whilst visuals suggest something ritualistic at play.
This can even be found in pornographic content, with videos of nude children covered in animal entrails becoming subjects to strange ceremonies performed by men in dark suits. Popular videos include footage of women having miscarriages of grotesque creatures, complex and perhaps occult snuff videos, videos of unexplainable events deemed too graphic and unusual for other sites, and more.
There are several parts to this story that raise doubts in my mind, in particular the “raw footage of acts…contain a layer of the mystical or unnatural that could not be explained,” and “…footage of women having miscarriages of grotesque creatures.” If this site does exist at all, then it’s more than likely that these videos are staged.
Beyond the fact that it sounds dubious, I had actually searched for the word “TsalalNet” on Tor and Freenet, and came up with nothing. I would think that if it existed, people would at least be talking about it on the dark web somewhere. Of course, if I am wrong about this, and such a site exists, please feel free to correct me!
Early on, when I changed the theme of this blog to be technology-related, I had attempted to explain the whole deep web/dark web phenomenon, and I’m not sure I really succeeded. So let me just put it all out there: terms like “deep web” and “dark web” are really just metaphors!
In the technical sense, the “deep web” means web pages that aren’t indexed by standard search engines, like Google and Bing. The “dark web” is the part of the web that I frequently talk about on this blog: sites that use anonymity networks and require special software or configurations to access (e.g. Tor, I2P, Freenet, GNUnet). This diagram explains it the most accurately:
If it’s any consolation to the jaded dark web explorers out there – even though these names like “shadow web” and “TsalalNet” may be mythical, this does not mean that different parts of the web are nonexistent. If you visit the Wikipedia page for Anonymity networks, you’ll come across many examples of other networks designed for privacy. Personally, I haven’t explored them all, and there may be interesting content that I have yet to see or discover.
If you go by the infographic above, however, the closest thing to a so-called “Marianas Web” that actually exists would be the private networks or alternative networks that do not use the public internet.
There are also newer anonymity networks that are in the process of being developed – if you want to consider those to be “deeper” than the ones that already exist, go right ahead.
Of note: I’ve read from more than one source that this picture is a more accurate representation of the internet than any of the other infographics – it seems more like a brain or a central nervous system:
What are your thoughts on this? I, for one, am not disappointed; I still believe there is much to discover out there.