To this day, Marina Joyce is one of the biggest unsolved mysteries of YouTube, and there are still many questions hovering around her story. She started as a sweet and quirky fashion centred creator, at times touching on comedy with fun sketches. Marina was never exactly YouTube’s elite, but she had garnered a sizeable audience over the years, and her community seemed to thrive in her intimate world of light-hearted content. But then… things took a turn, and Marina Joyce quickly became a name that piqued the curiosity of the entire world.
In 2016, Marina’s content slowly started to change, in a way that began to make her fans ask questions. People noticed that she was losing weight at an alarming rate, and her mannerisms and body language became incredibly strange, almost robotic (frantic blinking, awkward hand gestures, broken speech patterns, etc). Her personality did a complete 180, going from friendly and bubbly to strangely formal and creepy. Her audience started to worry about her safety, some believing she was suffering from a serious drug addiction, but it all came to a head when she posted an especially disturbing video on July 2nd, 2016.
The creepy video, simply titled “Date Outfit Ideas”, sees Marina show off different outfits she likes for a first date. Innocent in concept, but everything about it feels incredibly off — Marina looks confused and lost, continuously rambling and repeating herself while twirling around to show her dresses. Her arms are covered in harsh bruises, as well as her back. Furthermore, there seems to be someone behind the camera telling her what to do, which often seems to distract her as she talks. And, in a final show of suspiciousness, we can hear her whisper “help me” in a quick musical passage.
The video instantly went viral all around the world, and the now famous #SaveMarinaJoyce became one of the most talked about stories in the media. Theories began to circulate about Marina’s situation for weeks on end, going from kidnapping scenarios to a hostage situation. But nothing came of it. On her end, Marina simply continued to post extremely disturbing videos, as if everything was fine, completely ignoring the millions of people commenting and tweeting about her. Many believed that she was leaving secret messages to ask for help, and thousands of people began to investigate and analyze every second of her videos.
Eight months later, after a quick hiatus from YouTube, Marina released a new video titled “Saving Marina Joyce”, in which she thanked people for being concerned about her well being, and explained that she indeed went through a traumatic event that changed her life and destroyed her mind, causing her to drastically change and lose herself in the process, even admitting “there was danger in her life” at some point. She also explained that she had been on a recovery path for a few months, and that life was much better for her now, which people were relieved to hear, as she indeed looked better and more “normal” in the video. While she never fully told what happened to her that triggered such a change, everyone seemed happy with her explanation, and the world moved on. But it wasn’t the end of it.
Two years later, on July 31st, 2019, at the age of 22 years old, Marina Joyce mysteriously went missing. The circumstances of her disappearance were extremely foggy. The police got involved, even asking for the public’s help to search, and Marina was found in London after 10 days, confirmed to be “safe and well”. The authorities did not give any explanation about the whole situation (despite her boyfriend claiming that Marina was never missing, which did not make sense), and, just like in 2016, the story eventually went away with very little information being revealed to the public.
Since then, Marina has returned to YouTube, regularly making videos with her boyfriend, and everyone seems to have left her story behind. Her community seems to have moved on as well, and people usually compliment her on seeming better and happier. But, to this day, no one knows what actually happened to Marina Joyce.