With so many complex phenomena going on in the country and just a few labyrinthine responses to explain them, Google’s most-searched terms list has come to confirm that 2017 kept Argentines waiting with bated breath.
The elections that would lead to an unexpected outcome in October, the dramatic search for Santiago Maldonado and the missing submarine ARA San Juan, and the uncertain future of our apotheosized national football team kept us on tenterhooks for so long that we were apparently also forced to search for what the hell a fidget spinner was to calm down our anxiety.
Oh and then there’s of course the reggaeton hit Despacito which, of course.
So even though we know you hate listicles, here are the top ten things that people in Argentina googled in 2017 according to Google. Deal with it.
1. THE OCTOBER MID TERM ELECTIONS
Right after the National Electoral Chamber published and updated their data base with the names of more than 32 million people in the country registered to vote at the October 22 legislative elections (which would eventually turn into a landslide victory for Cambiemos and a defeat for Cristina Kirchner) millions of Argentines were wondering where to vote by simply asking Google where to vote. In such a crucial election with so many things at stake, people felt it necessary to make sure they knew the location of the polling station (usually a school) in their district in which they were registered to cast their ballots.
2. THE MISSING SUBMARINE ARA SAN JUAN
On November 15, the Argentine Navy’s ARA San Juan suddenly went missing in the South Atlantic triggering an immediate international mission that would seek to rescue the 44 sailors on board.
Our hopes shattered after the Navy announced two weeks later that, despite all efforts and an international cooperation to find the missing sub, the search operation no longer expected to find the crew alive. As of today, there are many hypotheses about what happened but no official theory to explain the disappearance of the vessel.
3. SANTIAGO MALDONADO
The Santiago Maldonado case left a deep mark in the Argentine psyche. After a 28-year-old artisan participating in a Mapuche protest in Patagonia suddenly vanished into thin air after a confrontation with Border Patrol on August 1st, the theories about his fate drove the country’s population to the brink of insanity with conspiracy theories, as some claimed that state-sponsored terrorism and systematic disappearances were back and others said that the entire case was organized by critics of Macri trying to change the outcome of the primary elections. The country was as divided as ever.
On October 17, Maldonado’s body was suddenly found underwater in a river not far from where he initially went missing. A medical board of 55 forensic experts determined after conducting an autopsy that Maldonado, who couldn’t swim, had drowned on the day he disappeared. He was probably trying to escape Border Patrol officers chasing the protesters. The Maldonado case also put the Mapuche conflict in the national spotlight.
4. ROCÍO GANCEDO
On November 29, 29-year-old model Rocío Gancedo, who starred in the reality show Big Brother in 2011, committed suicide after struggling with depression for a long time.
5. WORLD CUP 2018 FIXTURES
After so many failed matches that led the whole country to a feeling of mass hysteria (can you imagine a World Cup without Argentina??) we now have a place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, so let the battles begin.
I’m looking at you, Iceland. Are you ready for the June 16 match in Russia? You better be.
6. HURRICANE IRMA
The gargantuan hurricane that convulsed the coasts of Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean made it to the headlines of Argentina for more than two weeks.
Even when sea temperatures in the region are not optimal for hurricanes to come to light (and seriously, we haven’t had a hurricane hitting Argentina in like, ever) many people still wondered if the Cape-Verde type cyclone would somehow hit the Argentine coasts. As usual, fake news played their role at flaring up anxiety, as people shared more than 80,000 times on Facebook articles warning that it was coming our way.
7. FERIADOS IN 2017. YOU KNOW, HOLIDAYS
There are so many traumatic events going on that everyone needs a bridge holiday in Carilo/Mardel/Punta/whatever. Right? Right.
8. THE FREAKING FIDGET SPINNER
I know, I’m rolling my eyes too. Unfortunately, we could not escape from the most popular toy of 2017, and Argentina has already more psychologists per capita than any country in the world anyway, so why not try the latest novelty that allegedly helps to treat anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder? *shrugs*
9. 13 REASONS WHY
Searches for the Netflix teen drama — which tells the story of a young teen that takes her own life — escalated when people started questioning if the series was an ode to suicide, or if intended to raise awareness about mental health. Suicide is the second cause of death in Argentina among young people aged 18 to 29.
For the love of all things sacred, you know it was coming. After so many stressful searches, why not close this list with a song?