Elon Musk Has A New Girlfriend, Thanks To This Incredibly Nerdy Joke


Jonathan O'Callaghan

Senior Staff Writer


Musk and Grimes pictured last night at the Met Gala in New York. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

STOP EVERYTHING because Elon Musk has a new girlfriend. And as he’s the closest thing we have to Bruce Wayne, it's news we all need.

Yes, it transpires he is now dating Canadian musician Grimes, real name Claire Boucher, known for her rather weird and wonderful style. And the two of them were pictured together at the Met Gala last night, an annual fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City.


So far you’re thinking great, I do like to stay up to date with the latest Elon news, but where’s the science? Fear not, because the story of how Musk and Grimes came to be together is actually super nerdy. And just a little bit adorable.

You see, it all stems from a music video Grimes made for her 2015 single Flesh Without Blood. And in that video, one of the characters is called Rococo Basilisk.

"I don't know if you've heard of Roko's Basilisk," Grimes told Fuse in 2015. "She's doomed to be eternally tortured by an artificial intelligence, but she's also kind of like Marie Antoinette."

What’s Roko’s Basilisk, you say? Good question. It’s billed by some as "the most terrifying thought experiment of all time”. It’s the idea that a future god-like AI punishes people in the modern day for not doing its bidding. It’s kind of weird.


So what's Rococo Basilisk? Well, that may be a reference to a French 18th-century Baroque style called Rococo, which is sometimes bemoaned for its complexity and self-indulgence. Kind of like Roko’s Basilisk! Hence, Rococo Basilisk. It’s a funny, nerdy joke that about two people in the world would get.

But as luck would have it, guess who that other person was? That’s right, it was our very own car-launching, flamethrower-selling, dragon-taming billionaire Elon Musk. And one month ago, once he found out Grimes had had the same thought, it was love at first tweet. Probably.

“Elon was researching the idea of joking about Rococo Basilisk, and when he saw Grimes had already joked about it, he reached out to her,” an “insider” told Page Six. “Grimes said this was the first time in three years that anyone understood the joke. They were both poking fun at AI.”

Ever since, the two have been flirting online. Grimes complimented Musk on his music choices, before he later joked about how comets were “mostly made of cocaine”.


And it all came out last night at the Met Gala. Just hours before, Musk had tweeted “Rococo Basilisk”, a link to the Rococo Wikipedia page, and a relevant XKCD.


So there you have it. Two seemingly massive nerds hooked up over a joke no one else would understand. Aww.


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