On Saturday, the entire state of Hawaii was sent into an unnecessary panic when a staffer accidentally sent a terrifying alert to people’s phones: a ballistic missile was en route Hawaii, it was not a drill, and shelter must be sought immediately. In about 40 minutes, a second alert was sent out informing everyone that it was a false alarm. But for those who weren’t there, it’s hard to imagine what you would have done in those precious 38 minutes. Certainly not watch porn, right? But… what about after the second alert, when everything was clear, and you had your whole life ahead of you? Well, it turns out humans are very predictable, and Pornhub went through the trouble of conducting a whole statistical analysis to prove just that.
The Pornhub Insights blog looked at real-time, per-minute page views on their website and compared those numbers to data from the two previous Saturdays. Understandably, there was a serious drop in traffic to Pornhub in Hawaii around 8:07 a.m., immediately after the warning was first sent out. By 8:23 a.m., traffic was 77 percent below what it would be on a typical Saturday morning.
But by 8:45 a.m., people in Hawaii had been notified that the alarm had been false and sent in error. The stress of those 38 minutes of uncertainty vanished, and people got on with their normal lives…except an unusually large amount needed to relieve a little bit more stress. Pornhub page views surged to 48 percent above expected levels by 9:01 am on Saturday.
The chart clearly shows the massive drop at right around the time the false alarm was sent out, and then the significant spike just after everyone realized they weren’t about to die. The spike at 9:01 a.m. is quite a bit higher than any other spike during that day, so it seems safe to assume that the circumstance of the missile alert really did have a significant effect on those numbers.
Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency has explained that the alert error occurred after a staffer selected the wrong option in a drop-down list. Because it really is that simple to screw up so monumentally and send an entire state into existential panic that only porn can alleviate.