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Weird and wonderful things I found in public Gists

James Bubb
・4 min read

Photo by Vinicius "amnx" Amano

The other day I was creating some Gists for a project and stumbled upon the discover page which lists recently published public Gists.

I was always aware that you have the option of creating either a public or private Gist but didn't realise there was a place where you could just browse publicly created ones.

It's quite fascinating to see what gets published and also quite shocking what gets (probably accidentally) shared.

I came across small HTML pages, CSS animations, JavaScript challenges, games, logs, and even sensitive information like SSH keys and AWS credentials.

Here are some of the weird and wonderful things I found.


This Gist contains some JavaScript to create some interesting looking dodecahedron shapes that are animated and are illuminated based on the mouse position.

Here's a demo:

Background CSS Animation

I kept seeing a lot of these background gradient animations Gists popping up.

I converted one into a Codepen as a demo:

It turns out the Gists are created from a Gradient creator found at which is pretty cool so check it out if you want to create some animated gradients.

Calculator Project

Creating a Calculator with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript is almost a rite of passage for developers and it's always nice to see examples of people's work.

It's not the most fully-functional JavaScript calculator out there but I would wager that whoever created it was jolly pleased with the results.

Is it snowing in Zugspitze?

This Gist is a simple Python script that makes a call to the OpenWeatherMap API and let's you know whether it's snowing on the German mountain of Zugspitze (the highest peak of the Wetterstein Mountains).


It turns out it snows a lot in Zugspitze.

You could of course adapt this to tell you the weather somewhere else.

Docker Cheat Sheet

This Gist has a really useful Docker cheat sheet you might find useful

JavaScript Physics

Here's an example of how you could model some real-world physics like movement in JavaScript. Plus it's quite cool to push all the obstacles over!

Matrix Rain

I came across this Gist when trying to search for animations. It's quite old (as is the film) but it popped up because it had been recently updated I think.

Here's a demo:

Chocolate Cake Recipe

I haven't had a chance to try this one yet, but it sounds delicious.

If you get a chance to make this, let me know how it tastes 😀

Keyboard Events

I quite like this basic keyboard handler written in TypeScript because it is formatted so beautifully.

There's a couple of things that I believe could make it better (TypeScript-wise) but let's just take a moment to appreciate the presentation of this bit of code.

Tiny Web GL

I found this bit of Web GL code in this Gist.

It took a bit of playing around with the dependencies to get it working but I managed to a version of the code to demo in Codepen:

I've always meant to get round to doing some 3D / WebGL stuff and this gave me a bit of inspiration on how to get started.


This was definitely one of the crazier things I found when looking at lots of public Gists.

Upon opening the Gist, I found some JSON which appeared to relate to a game played at

Again, after some research and experimentation, I managed to play the game from the Gist here:

I still don't really understand it.



So this Gist is the JavaScript solution to a puzzle but it led me to discover a new site which actually looks like quite an intriguing way to learn some coding skills:

Command Line Exercises

I came across this Gist which looks like someone has been given some exercises to complete on the command line which is good for practice.

I recreated the Gist without their answers here if you want to have a go at them yourself.

Candy Cornfetti

Want some dancing candy confetti (or cornfetti)?

Of course you do.

Interview Challenge

Ever wonder what developers get asked to do as a coding challenge at interviews?

This Gist seems to suggest it was such a challenge that someone had to complete at interview.


This final Gist introduced me to the MicroModal library which I had not come across before.

It's nothing earth-shattering but a useful library to know about nonetheless.

Here's a demo:


There's definitely some weird and wonderful things that can be found in public Gists.

I found some impressive bits of code which gave me some things to think about and also some useful tools.

Just a gentle reminder not to save anything sensitive into a Gist which is public.

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