The Universal S

People from all over the world have been drawing this S-shaped symbol for decades yet no one seem to know anything about it. In this video I explore some of the popular origin theories and showcase my own findings after five years of on and off searching.


Jazz Spastiks - Bananas Instrumental
Fabien Tell - Never Before
Jazz Spastiks - Fresh Oranges Instrumental
Grant Newman - Last March of Heroes
Jazz Spastiks - Apples Instrumentals
Jon Björk - Divisive Alliance
Charles Holme - Informal Parameters
Fabien Tell - The Farmer

[Credits & References]


  1. Saul Garcia

    Saul Garcia

    Prieš 23 minutes

    I though it was an nc state thing

  2. JB Saber

    JB Saber

    Prieš 24 minutes

    I really thought it was the Suzuki symbol

  3. Steven Brown

    Steven Brown

    Prieš 24 minutes

    I first saw this "S" in winter of 1975 under a railroad bridge in Stielacoom, WA. I've been drawing this ever since. I was a military brat and lived around the country drawing it everywhere. I then went to Germany in 1988 and S. Korea later same year. Drew it there as well. So no slipknot, Kiss, Slayer or any of them. I believe the power company used this in Stielacoom. Check it out.

  4. IFDF: Admiral Y11

    IFDF: Admiral Y11

    Prieš 25 minučių

    Perhaps it had origin in a war, like Kilroy Was Here?

  5. Chris Gary

    Chris Gary

    Prieš 27 minučių

    I used this symbol to help me levitate Egyptian stone blocks to build the pyramids

  6. Url_removed


    Prieš 27 minučių

    ahhh, the s. I remember drawing that into fallen Neanderthals with pointy rock

  7. PlayerX1994


    Prieš 28 minučių

    Okay youtube. You win. I've watched the video. Now please stop blowing up my recommendations lol

  8. capbarker


    Prieš 30 minučių

    I have to know... just how long did you take to make that ~4 second long bit with the penguins at 5:54 ?

  9. Justin Reid

    Justin Reid

    Prieš 34 minutes

    It's an SCP. It's obviously an SCP.

  10. ObsidianWolf -YT

    ObsidianWolf -YT

    Prieš 34 minutes

    It’s also found in Lebanese school we always used to drow it

  11. Bradley Swanson

    Bradley Swanson

    Prieš 37 minučių

    I thought it was Suzuki

  12. Alejandro Márquez

    Alejandro Márquez

    Prieš 38 minučių

    just saying that in Uruguay we used to draw that symbol too

  13. Zekey moomoo

    Zekey moomoo

    Prieš 42 minutes

    holy crap this video is insane you made an S symbol sound so interesting, safe to say I was subbed within the first few minutes

  14. Emily Specter

    Emily Specter

    Prieš 42 minutes

    @16:28 The proto universal S.

  15. SeriousNorbo


    Prieš 43 minutes

    Memes in 1960: Memes in 2019: *Lets storm area 51*

  16. Danielcooks


    Prieš 50 minučių

    I called it the “secret S”

  17. Evan Herriges

    Evan Herriges

    Prieš 53 minutes

    Anyone else: The Universal S Me, an intellectual: It's called a Somersloop

  18. iRush Apollo

    iRush Apollo

    Prieš 56 minučių

    I live in Wisconsin and I remember everyone drawing this myself included in grade school 😂

  19. DistantDystopia


    Prieš val

    Ah the stussy Edit: oh

  20. Volstx


    Prieš val

    / \ | | | \ \ / | | | \ /

  21. Jimothy Ross

    Jimothy Ross

    Prieš val

    This man was able to withstand reading more than 10 youtube comments without having a stroke, let alone 27,000!

  22. أشلي بوبي

    أشلي بوبي

    Prieš val

    You should do a video about the Yuba City five, your Dyatlov pass video was really good.

  23. iBourne xx 1994

    iBourne xx 1994

    Prieš val

    We had it in the UK too

  24. Cody The Liberal Slayer

    Cody The Liberal Slayer

    Prieš val

    This is actually a secret ruin

  25. Exploding Vortex

    Exploding Vortex

    Prieš val

    I always was told that it’s a gangster symbol

  26. Kal Sizzle

    Kal Sizzle

    Prieš val

    southern ontario here yup kids used to always draw this

  27. fortnite_ thaguywhojacked

    fortnite_ thaguywhojacked

    Prieš val

    You have too much time on your hands i love it

  28. Yebsi


    Prieš val

    this is so weird to watch because i really always wondered where it came from. first remember it in third grade, early 2000's. still see it alot, up in ohio

  29. Existential Crisis

    Existential Crisis

    Prieš val

    Your accent has faded so much since I first started watching you :,(

  30. shakele Folajimi

    shakele Folajimi

    Prieš val

    did this in primary school in Nigeria. no idea how i new it, since none of my friends showed me. i just knew it. weird

  31. Liam Coakley

    Liam Coakley

    Prieš val

    This wolnt get out my recommendation

  32. Nattie98


    Prieš val

    English language is hard wired to be written from left to right so for the Sator square to exist that means someone needed to think with asymmetry to begin with to make it possible. Ironically enough for the Sator square to be created it would start with the S and the first word would be written like so. So by this Square this shows humans are hard wired to utilize symmetry the S just so happens to be a tool that has alot of it hence its incorporation into asymmetrical artwork like the Sator Square. Not in the asymmetric look but its general letter being in use as the first letter in an incredibly early incorporation of Asymmetric abstract wordplay in English literature. Shows one thing, why this Universal S always peaks its head its because humans have hardwired tendencies that gives us uncanny resembling thoughts and in this case Asymmetry is the one thing that is like that and the S so happens to be asymmetric enough to all give us familiar thoughts. its why when it concerns it we think alike making us think in this pattern and the Sator square proves that.

  33. Perpetual Collapse

    Perpetual Collapse

    Prieš val


  34. only one Mr X Only one Mr y

    only one Mr X Only one Mr y

    Prieš val

    Back in the Stone Age I used to draw that on my cave desk

  35. Eesa


    Prieš val

    a book called mechanical graphics with a section about graphic design and letter art made earlier than any previously known evidence of the universal s being the origin of the universally known letter based symbol seems pretty believable

  36. RecardoGuillermo


    Prieš val

    Super S gang wya?

  37. JESWAF


    Prieš 2 val

    We used to write "SOS" in france, the "O" was 3 vertical lines 4 other edges

  38. 💢Zalzion⛼


    Prieš 2 val

    I did the same thing. When i was in middle school in 03-05 write this symbol. So wierd

  39. Silver1989


    Prieš 2 val

    I love the different words for ‘keyboard’

  40. ySix__s2


    Prieš 2 val

    we make that in Brazil too

  41. Atomic Root

    Atomic Root

    Prieš 2 val

    coooooooool =)

  42. Dumb Jason

    Dumb Jason

    Prieš 2 val

    Ontario Canada shout out!!!!!

  43. Shaderston


    Prieš 2 val

    I could never draw the cool S

  44. Cam Lau

    Cam Lau

    Prieš 2 val

    Stoosi? That’s not what I say

  45. pulpo detinte

    pulpo detinte

    Prieš 2 val

    this is amazing! you saved us all a lot of time

  46. luke mansell

    luke mansell

    Prieš 2 val

    I always thought it was just the Suzuki logo

  47. Dustin Ryckman

    Dustin Ryckman

    Prieš 2 val

    I used to draw these in school all the time. After I would draw them, I would cut them out and collect them. What’s really odd is that I was drawing these the other day out of the blue... I drew it on my hand and then spelt the word Soul... it’s still fading as we speak. Thought I would share, especially after seeing this video randomly.

    • Dustin Ryckman

      Dustin Ryckman

      Prieš 2 val

      I’m from Wisconsin btw

  48. Viturin Catschegn

    Viturin Catschegn

    Prieš 2 val

    Yeah I remember this sign. We always drew it. We called it „s‘Amerikanischi S“ (the american S) back then.

  49. Abdulaziz Aljaser

    Abdulaziz Aljaser

    Prieš 2 val

    Saudi Arabia too

  50. Skaterboiog


    Prieš 2 val

    8:21 the third one looks so similar to the s if you make it a long chain wherever that was made is probably where it originated

  51. os op

    os op

    Prieš 2 val


    • os op

      os op

      Prieš 2 val

      Yes Yes Yes Yes 7:58

  52. Noodle Doodle

    Noodle Doodle

    Prieš 2 val

    Blown away by how dedicated you were to finding as many answers as you could. Subscribed.

  53. some nut

    some nut

    Prieš 2 val

    It's a stussy

  54. Jacob D

    Jacob D

    Prieš 2 val

    In my school we call that the savage sign

  55. Mathias Bjordammen

    Mathias Bjordammen

    Prieš 2 val

    You should do a video on the symbol called "Fleur De Lis" - it's a symbol of ancient origin that has been used across the globe for centuries.

  56. Warp Scanner

    Warp Scanner

    Prieš 3 val

    The "Universal S" (honestly a fantastic moniker) is most likely from some 1940's to 1950's random teen scribbling it somewhere on a wall, not thinking much of it at the time, and it catching on from there. At least, that's the safest guess, based on this video.

  57. Ethan Rummel

    Ethan Rummel

    Prieš 3 val

    Has anyone looking into classic calligraphy like from medieval texts? Perhaps this was a technique for creating a basic S to then illuminate, like is often found with the first letter of passages in such texts. Would not be surprised if this is how it ending up in that book from Princeton mentioned in the video; handed down by monks and eventually to graphic artists, and then to students. Seriously just a theory, but an avenue worth pursuing.

  58. Konstantinos Mpoudronikolas

    Konstantinos Mpoudronikolas

    Prieš 3 val

    I used to draw dat S as I saw others doing it when I asked where this comes from all knew what I knew

  59. Ash Ketchup

    Ash Ketchup

    Prieš 3 val

    i have literally never even drawn that thing nor have the people i know

  60. Brandon J

    Brandon J

    Prieš 3 val

    Strangely enough, I do not regret clicking on this video and watching the whole thing. The depth in which he researched this is truly inspirational.

  61. Marius Dragomir

    Marius Dragomir

    Prieš 3 val

    To me it looks a lot like old weaving patterns for carpets and rugs. Which would also explain the popularity of it.

  62. Paulo Sebresos

    Paulo Sebresos

    Prieš 3 val

    / \ | | | |\\| | | | \ /

  63. nexium a

    nexium a

    Prieš 3 val


  64. Grin Reaper Of Trolls

    Grin Reaper Of Trolls

    Prieš 3 val

    So where does yeet come from?

  65. FanisNation


    Prieš 3 val

    I’m from Greece and in elementary school every single child drew this symbol without knowing what it is. My old notebooks and “classmate diaries” (basically a diary where every one of your classmates writes things for you to look back and remember) are full of this. We drew it exactly as mentioned as part of the smile word with the pineapple tree for l and it was known as the smile s but all this without knowing its origin or purpose



    Prieš 3 val

    Hey where's Sudan?!

  67. Thomas Kirchner

    Thomas Kirchner

    Prieš 3 val

    Go back and read the title of the type face. RAILROAD. Bet that had to do with the spread of it

  68. amir


    Prieš 3 val


  69. 20firebird


    Prieš 3 val

    bruh i love your voice

  70. That One guy

    That One guy

    Prieš 3 val

    Fuck ya bud did those 20 years back

  71. AdroitNGaming


    Prieš 3 val

    broo aliens put it in our brains

  72. Lilly


    Prieš 3 val

    Someone make a subreddit for this already

  73. Fatal Potatoe

    Fatal Potatoe

    Prieš 3 val

    This man has all the time in the world

  74. C Smith

    C Smith

    Prieš 3 val

    I remember carving this in my mothers womb

  75. John 'legless' Jacaranda

    John 'legless' Jacaranda

    Prieš 3 val

    This is so good! Thanks

  76. Kohl Talbot

    Kohl Talbot

    Prieš 3 val

    I remember my brothers sayin they drew this shit all the time when they where in highschool in the 90’s. They even put stickers of the S on their skateboards. I grew up knowing it as the skater S

  77. Max Partain

    Max Partain

    Prieš 3 val

    What is your keyboard?? Seems super nice and slick.

  78. Lukáš Volčík

    Lukáš Volčík

    Prieš 3 val

    Okay, nothing in whole Czechoslovakia.. :D we are such ignorant dumbasses :D Right in the middle of Europe :D

  79. Angela


    Prieš 3 val

    Thank YOU ! You are BRILLIANT ! Loved every second.

  80. Samuel Goshgarian

    Samuel Goshgarian

    Prieš 3 val

    Wow! What a well made video.... superb editing and very very interesting!