‘Disaster Girl,’ now 21, makes $450,000 selling the original picture behind her meme 


The woman in the famous ‘Disaster Girl’ meme has sold the original photograph as an NFT for $473,000. 

Zoe Roth, 21, became an internet sensation at the age of four when she was pictured standing in front of a burning building with a devilish smirk on her face. 

The image has since served as a perfect meme for those who want to depict any disastrous scene or mischievous act.

The picture in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT) – a kind of unique digital asset that has exploded in popularity so far in 2021 – was snapped up for 180 Ethereum, which is equivalent to $473,000, by a collector known only as @3FMusic.

An NFT is a unique digital token encrypted with an artist’s signature and which verifies its ownership and authenticity and is permanently attached to the piece.

It allows ‘original’ versions of popular online content – like viral memes and tweets – to be sold as if they were physical pieces of art. 

Zoe Roth, 21, became an internet sensation at the age of four when she was pictured standing in front of a burning building with a devilish smirk on her face

The picture in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT) - a kind of unique digital asset that has exploded in popularity so far in 2021 - was snapped up for 180 Ethereum, which is equivalent to $473,000, by a collector known only as @3FMusic

The picture in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT) – a kind of unique digital asset that has exploded in popularity so far in 2021 – was snapped up for 180 Ethereum, which is equivalent to $473,000, by a collector known only as @3FMusic

The collector @3FMusic is reportedly Farzin Fardin Fard, CEO of a Dubai-based music production company, according to Gizmodo.  

Zoe, now a university student, and her father Dave – who captured the photo – were approached by an anonymous person via email in February who encouraged them to sell the image as an NFT.  

Each NFT has its own blockchain-based digital signature, which serves as a public ledger, allowing anyone to verify the asset’s authenticity and ownership.  

Zoe was pictured by her father in January 2005 when she and her family were living near a fire station in Mebane, North Carolina. 

Zoe Roth, who was pictured in the famous 'Disaster Girl' meme has sold the original photograph as an NFT for $473,000

Zoe Roth, who was pictured in the famous ‘Disaster Girl’ meme has sold the original photograph as an NFT for $473,000

What are NFTs?  

What is a NFT?

A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is a unique digital token encrypted with an artist’s signature and which verifies its ownership and authenticity and is permanently attached to the piece.

What do they look like?

Most NFTs include some kind digital artwork, such as photos, videos, GIFs, and music. Theoretically, anything digital could be turned into a NFT.  

Where do you buy them?

At the moment, NFTs are most commonly sold in so-called ‘drops’, timed online sales by blockchain-backed marketplaces like Nifty Gateway, Opensea and Rarible.

Why would I want to own one? 

There’s an array of reasons why someone may want to buy a NFT. For some, the reason may be emotional value, because NFTs are seen as collectors items. For others, they are seen as an investment opportunity similar to cryptocurrencies, because the value could increase.  

When were NFTs created? 

Writer and podcaster Andrew Steinwold traced the origins of NFTs back to 2012, with the creation of the Colored Coins cryptocurrency. But NFTs didn’t move into the mainstream until five years later, when the blockchain game CryptoKitties began selling virtual cats in 2017.  

The family went outside to see a controlled burn – a fire that is intentionally set to clear a property – and Dave snapped a photo of a smirking Zoe in front of the fire.

 Since then, Dave won the JPG magazine’s ‘Emotion Capture’ contest in 2008 and the image went viral after it was posted online. 

‘Nobody who is a meme tried to do that, it just ended up that way,’ Zoe told The Raleigh News & Observer. ‘Is it luck? Is it fate? I have no idea. But I will take it.’   

Since then the photograph has become an internet sensation. The NFT was coded in a way that will allow Zoe and Dave – who have said they will split the profit between them – to acquire 10 per cent of profits whenever the NFT is sold in the future. 

For the first time in 15 years, Zoe and Dave have control over their image. 

‘Being able to sell it just shows us that we do have some sort of control, some sort of agency in the whole process,’ Zoe said. 

Zoe, who is a senior at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, is looking into nonprofit organizations she can donate her proceeds to while Dave hopes to fix the air conditioning of his Honda Civic. 

Others who became famous through their memes have hopped on the NFT bandwagon. 

Chris Torres, creator of Nyan Cat, sold his iconic meme for roughly $590,000 earlier this year and finally gained attribution for the artwork – which he said was a huge factor in why he first sought out NFTs. 

Nyan Cat – which shows a gray kitty with a Pop Tart for a body, flying through space – first went viral back in 2011.

‘Nobody knew who owned it,’ he said to Los Angeles Magazine. ‘It was just kind of free-rein on the internet. It didn’t just appear even though memes are kind of thought that way sometimes.’ 

Tardar Sauce, aka Grumpy Cat, became the most beloved cat in the world and has been featured in all types of work. Even though she died in 2019, the NFT of her notorious meme has sold for $100,859.54. 

Chris Torres, creator of Nyan Cat, sold his iconic meme for roughly $590,000 and finally gained attribution for the artwork

Chris Torres, creator of Nyan Cat, sold his iconic meme for roughly $590,000 and finally gained attribution for the artwork

Even though Tartar Sauce the cat died in 2019, the NFT of her notorious Grumpy Cat meme sold for $100,859.54

Even though Tartar Sauce the cat died in 2019, the NFT of her notorious Grumpy Cat meme sold for $100,859.54

Chris Crocker has sold his infamous Leave Britney Alone video as a NFT for more than $43,000

Chris Crocker has sold his infamous Leave Britney Alone video as a NFT for more than $43,000

Chris Crocker’s infamous ‘Leave Britney Alone’ video dominated when it first hit the scene in 2007, getting parodied in movies and on television. With the #FreeBritney movement in full swing, Crocker has sold the video as a NFT for more than $43,000. 

NFTs – sometimes pronounced ‘nifties’ – are a unique digital token encrypted with  the creator’s signature which verifies its ownership and authenticity and is permanently attached to the piece.

The tokens are similar to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum in that they live on blockchain networks – a decentralized, distributed ledger that records transactions of digital assets. 

But unlike traditional cryptocurrencies, NFTs are non-fungible, meaning that one cannot be exchanged for another. The digital assets have collectors value, and can represent items including still images, GIFs, videos, music and more.    

More than $10 million in NFT transactions are now taking place daily, according to the website DappRadar. The exchanges happen in cryptocurrencies on specialist sites such as Nifty Gateway and OpenSea, on the fringes of the art world. Sales of NFTs are made in Ether, a cryptocurrency that has a fluctuating value. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk