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What happened to Karl the Fog? A social media mist-ery

Karl the Fog at the Golden Gate Bridge. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline
By Steven Bracco - Published on May 28, 2020.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, many San Francisco residents flocked to parks and beaches, in search of relief from the record-breaking temperatures.

But one local was noticeably absent: Karl the Fog.

San Francisco's mist-erious mascot, who has a mischievous (and anonymous) social media presence, hasn't been heard from in months. And the locals who love his wit, wisdom and weather reports have begun to notice.

Dolores Park over Memorial Day weekend. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

On a hot weekend like the one San Francisco just had, Karl would typically relish the opportunity to tease San Franciscans for their misery in scorching-hot temperatures.

Instead, San Franciscans were left to gently mock themselves.

"No wonder it's hot — Karl the Fog hasn't been seen since January," wrote wine writer Blake Gray on Twitter.

Karl the Fog returns over Twin Peaks. | Photo: Tony Clark/Instagram

Long before the heatwave hit, Karl had rolled off the radar of his roughly 360,000 Twitter followers.

The disappearance doesn't appear to be related to the pandemic. He last posted on January 19, long before COVID-19 was a concern in San Francisco (and when locals still had hope that the Niners might win the Super Bowl). 

Hoodline reached out to Karl to find out what he's been up to these past few months, but did not receive a response.

Chronicle Books, which published his self-titled book about San Francisco last year, didn't have any clues, either. 

"To be honest, he was pretty much anonymous to me, too," said Karl's Chronicle Books publicist, April Whitney. "I don’t know the person behind the account, and I communicate with him via email."

It's possible that Karl is still getting over the 49ers' second straight Super Bowl loss. But while he does, don't be fooled by imposter Twitter account "KarlTheFog_," which has tried to capitalize on Karl's fan base by claiming to be the 'original' (but mostly posts ads for a stock-trading website).

While the witty jokes are gone for now, San Franciscans don't have to worry. We all know Karl will roll back in when we least expect it — to ruin our picnics, spoil our beach days, and end some uncomfortable heat waves. 

"I do wish [Karl] would come back to the Bay Area," Chronicle Books' Whitney said. "It was an unbearable 103 degrees yesterday in Vallejo, where I live."

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