What Does Life Mean to You?

It means to live.

With its rigid beat and dry, monotone vocals, the song sounds like a synth-pop hit you would have heard in a dance club in the Eighties. (Or at least on an Eighties Spotify station.) Close your eyes and you can imagine a music video: awkwardly lip-synching musicians, exploding lightbulbs, foggy streets. It’s familiar. But the name of the artist or band doesn’t come to mind.

That’s because, right now, no one knows anything about it: who wrote it, who sang it, or even when it came out. And for about a dozen years, a dedicated gaggle of music obsessives from around the world has been searching for any information about these three minutes of music. Throughout this quest, which intensified this summer, thousands of man-hours have been devoted to unearthing anything at all about what these zealous investigators are calling “the most mysterious song on the Internet.”