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Joop is the world's oldest orangutan in the storyline of the alternate reality game The Lost Experience, according to thehansofoundation.org.
This is a major breakthrough that is the result of The Hanso Foundation's Life Extension Project. As Hanso executive Peter Thompson said on the website, "Considering that the average lifespan of chimps in captivity is 60 years, this milestone is clear proof that The Hanso Foundation's Life Extension Project will someday help human beings achieve useful lifespans well beyond the current norm."
Joop, who is also referred to as "experimental subject 626," was originally "harvested by British explorers in the early 1900s." On September 21, 2005, Joop celebrated his 105th birthday, which was called a milestone in the Life Extension Project by the Hanso Foundation.
The Hanso Foundation website featured a section called "Joop's Corner", where users could find information about the orangutan, watch him on a webcam, and even write him messages. Pictures of Joop going wild could be seen after logging out of the thehansofoundation.org website.
In the Joop section of the Hanso Foundation's website, clicking on a link to send a message to Joop would show a disturbing image (upon extended inspection of the Joop's Live Webcam image). This image was dark and shadowy (of the doctor on the Mental Health Initiative page) and appeared (with interceding flashes) superimposed over Joop's face, as seen below.
- Orangutans are in fact apes, not monkeys.
- The reference to experiment 626 is likely a reference to Stitch of Lilo and Stitch.
- As mentioned in the May 4, 2007 podcast, the name Joop is a reference to Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island, where a group of castaways eventually find and educate a highly intelligent orangutan:
- "Thus it was that the colony acquired a new member, who would be of service to them on more than one occasion. As for his name, the sailor asked that they call him Jupiter, and Joop for short, in memory of another ape he had known." (Jordan Stump translation, copyright 2001 Random House, emphasis added)
- Joop (pronounced "yope") is a Dutch nickname for Johannes or Jozef.
- The average lifespan of an orangutan is 30–50 years old.
- Here is the real video of "Joop." The version of the video on the Alvar Hanso Foundation webpage was played backwards.
- On the May 4, 2007 podcast, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse joked that Joop was their solution to ending the show, should it be abruptly cancelled. The final scene would be a cut to a desk and a leather chair, which would turn to reveal Joop saying, "Hello I'm Joop. I bet you're wondering who I am," with a pipe in his mouth. Joop would then proceed to explain all of the Island's mysteries in a crisp and satisfactory fashion.
- On the May 19, 2008 podcast, Damon and Carlton revisited that idea and joked that Joop had contractual issues, in addition to expected difficulties with having an orangutan smoke a pipe and talk.