For most, a chainsaw is just a tool used to cut trees and branches. The term also makes people think of lumberjacks at work chopping wood.
It has even been associated with a popular horror movie series, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The franchise, which started in 1974, saw the release of nine movies.
The most recent one debuted in February 2022. The series amassed over $252 million at the box office worldwide.
However, chainsaws are used for different things. For example, they are very useful when cutting ice.
This is undoubtedly true in countries like Finland, where winter sports like ice sculpting and winter swimming are popular.
In addition to the technical side, the chainsaw has a very compelling origin story. Interestingly, this history has a link to surgery and even childbirth.
So, why were chainsaws invented? This question has been going around social media for a while. The answer is always shocking and surprising for those who do not know.
The search for the truth took a life on its own. Memes and jokes about chainsaws are now just a big part of the whole thing. Moreover, TikTok brought things to a different level, and a new generation joined in the conversation.
It has become a whole part of the Internet lexicon. To get the complete picture, it is essential to understand why chainsaws were invented for childbirth.
After that, the jokes and memes will make more sense.
Why were chainsaws invented for childbirth?
The direct link between chainsaws and childbirth is what got the Internet interested in this topic in the first place. However, the connection is not as clear-cut as some on social media make it to be.
To make things simple, the first chainsaw was invented for childbirth. However, the so-called “flexible saw” had very little in common with the modern chainsaw. It was just a link chain between two wooden handles.
First of all, it was way smaller in size. Secondly, it had to be operated manually. Scientists at the time believed this was a good thing when compared to what they had to use before for surgery, a knife.
Two doctors, John Aitken and James Jeffrey came up with the prototype in the 18th century. Their goal was to make symphysiotomy and bone excision less painful.
Symphysiotomy is a procedure that involves dividing cartilage from the symphysis pubis. In clear, it meant widening the pelvis to facilitate childbirth when there was a mechanical issue.
It is no longer common practice (in most places) because the science behind childbirth has become more evolved. Cesarean section also became safer.
In areas where C-sections cannot be carried out because of a lack of equipment, a symphysiotomy is still an option.
For close to one century, the original chainsaw was widely used in surgery. However, its popularity declined with the arrival of the Gigli twisted-wire saw in 1894.
This new tool brought a higher degree of precision to the table. Moreover, manufacturing cost was also lower.
The evolution of the chainsaw: from childbirth and surgery to wood cutting
German orthopedist Bernhard Heine developed the osteotome in 1830. It is way closer to the modern chainsaw. It was used to cut bones.
The first portable chainsaw was patented in 1918. Canadian James Shand is the one behind this invention. German manufacturer Stihl invented the first electric chainsaw in 1926.
Over the years, they have become even more sophisticated. Cordless chainsaws are now the way to go. Smaller versions are popular with those gardening at home.
Dr. Mark Skippen, from Swansea University, has spent a lot of time researching the origin of chainsaws. He explained:
“The chainsaw is a good example of technological innovations that end up being used for different purposes to their original intention.”
Skippen continued: “Based on the design of a watch chain, the original chainsaw devised in Scotland has since led to tools used in obstetrics, orthopedics, neurosurgery, and now tree surgery worldwide.”
His assessment is correct. The chainsaw has even been able to make a transition to the cyber world thanks to social media.
Why were chainsaws invented Joke?
The “why were chainsaws invented” joke is everywhere on social media. However, TikTok is where the magic really happens in this case.
TikTok user hellomynamesjon, who has a huge following on the social networking platform, uploaded a video where he said that the chainsaw was invented for childbirth.
His video went viral, and many found the idea really scary. Therefore, the root of the joke on Twitter and other such sites is that people wished they had never put the phrase “why were chainsaws invented” on Google.
The concept behind the joke is to encourage others to never look for that information. In a way, the true story behind the chainsaw is hard to believe.
This feeling of disbelief leads to some hilarious memes.
Related: Dark Humor Jokes
Why were chainsaws invented Meme?
The “why were chainsaws invented?” meme that went viral is intriguing at first. Some might even find it strange a bit.
However, once the person gets over this initial hurdle, that is when things start to get really interesting.
Those, who fall for the meme, go on to encourage others to go ahead and do a Google search to get the answer to the question. The different reactions are where the humor lies.
Even the author of Hood Feminism, Mikki Kendall could not resist joining in the fun. She wrote:
“I have just Googled to see why chainsaws were invented & I am going to bed now.”
James Moran, who is a British screenwriter known for his work on Doctor Who and Torchwood, also did his part to advance the meme. Moran chimed in:
“I did this and am horrified, so now you have to suffer: Google, why chainsaws were invented? Go on. Make sure you’re sitting down.”
A popular meme on Twitter tries to combine the origin of chainsaws with the fictional character Leatherface from the movie franchise.
The meme asks the viewer to wonder how it would feel to have Leatherface rushing into the delivery room.
The accompanying photo shows the character looking determined with his chainsaw in hand.
A second meme shows a woman trying to wash her eyes with a water cord after Googling “why were chainsaws invented?”
The memes around this theme are not slowing down.
The term “why were chainsaws invented?” has been a trending topic on social media in the past years. In 2020, it even made the year-end list of top trending searches released by Google.
It continues to attract new people every day because the information is not something that one could have expected. Moreover, the Internet has a penchant for highlighting interesting facts that are not widely known.
In this specific case, it just led to a scary and disturbing finding for some. However, some of these trends really take the user to very interesting places.
For example, a similar meme went viral in recent months. It put the spotlight on another little-known fact about Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.
It revealed that John Harvey Kellogg invented the popular cereal in 1894 as a way to control sexual impulses and masturbation.
In a world that is facing a lot of serious challenges, no one can blame those who can find notes of levity in the origins of chainsaws and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.