Here's What The World Was Most Curious About In 2012

Jennifer LawrenceActress Jennifer Lawrence helped make The Hunger Games a Wikipedia sensation.

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

What did people want to learn about the most this year?Wikipedia has gathered data on its most viewed articles of 2012. It has created different lists for each language, but the most popular articles by far are in English.

The data shows we care a lot about movies, teenage pop stars, and tech companies.

10. The Hunger Games

What it is: The first book of a trilogy by Suzanne Collins. It takes place in future America, where 24 children are chosen to fight to the death in a computer-controlled arena for a reality TV show. It was released as a movie this year starring Jennifer Lawrence.

Number of views: Its Wikipedia page was viewed 18,431,626 times this year.

Excerpt from the page:

The Hunger Games is a 2008 young adult novel by American writer Suzanne Collins. It is written in the voice of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem, where the countries of North America once existed. The Capitol, a highly advanced metropolis, exercises political control over the rest of the nation. The Hunger Games are an annual event in which one boy and one girl aged 12--18 from each of the twelve districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle to the death.

The book received mostly positive feedback from major reviewers and authors, including author Stephen King. It was praised for its storyline and character development, though some reviewers have noted similarities between Collins' book and the Japanese novel Battle Royale (1999), as well as other works. In writing The Hunger Games, Collins drew upon Greek mythology and contemporary reality television for thematic content. The novel won many awards, including the California Young Reader Medal, and was named one of Publishers Weekly's 'Best Books of the Year' in 2008.

Internet search

8. The Dark Knight Rises

What it is: The third batman movie, starring Christian Bale, which was released this year.

Number of views: Its Wikipedia page received 18,882,885 views this year

Excerpt from the page:

The Dark Knight Rises is a 2012 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Jonathan Nolan and the story with David S. Goyer. Featuring the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the final instalment in Nolan's Batman film trilogy, and it is the sequel to Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008). Christian Bale reprises the lead role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, with a returning cast of his allies: Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth, Gary Oldman as James Gordon, and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox. The film introduces the characters of Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), a cunning cat burglar in search of a way to escape her past, and Bane (Tom Hardy), a militant revolutionary out to destroy Gotham City. The film deals with a Batman who has retired, but is drawn back into action by new threats to the city.

7. The 2012 Phenomenon

Erotic novel

5. The Avengers

MTV Video Music Awards

3. Deaths in 2012

What it is: A list of prominent people and animals who died in 2012, and the causes of their deaths.

Number of views: Its Wikipedia page was viewed 29,613,759 times this year.

Excerpt from the page:

December 2012


  • Václav Drobný, 32, Czech footballer, member of the senior national team, bobsleighing accident.


  • Valentin Boreyko, 79, Russian Olympic champion (1960) rower.
  • Sohrab Hossain, 91, Bangladeshi singer, exponent of Nazrul Sangeet.
  • Edgar May, 83, Swiss-born American politician and Pulitzer prize-winning (1961) journalist, member of Vermont House (1973--1983) and Senate (1983--1991), stroke.
  • Houston McCoy, 72, American police officer, killed Charles Whitman to stop University of Texas sniper spree, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Jesco von Puttkamer, 79, German-born American aerospace engineer and NASA manager.
  • John Quimby, 77, American politician, member of the California State Assembly (1962--1974), complications of pneumonia.
  • Albert Riederer, 67, American judge and civic leader, Missouri Court of Appeals (1997--1999), cancer.
  • Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., 78, American general, Commander-in-Chief of United States Central Command (1988--1991), complications from pneumonia.
  • Sidney Earl Williams, 84, American educator, founder of Life University.

2. Wikis

1. Facebook

What it is: A social network created by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004.

Number of views: Its Wikipedia page received 32,647,942 views this year.

Why it was searched: General curiosity about the company, especially with its initial public offering this year, says a company spokesperson. It also could be due to failed browser searches, that redirected people to Wikipedia instead of to Facebook's site.

Excerpt from the page:

Facebook is a social networking service launched in February 2004, owned and operated by Facebook, Inc.As of September 2012, Facebook has over one billion active users, more than half of them using Facebook on a mobile device. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups, organised by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize their friends into lists such as 'People From Work' or 'Close Friends'.

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