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November 29, 2023

He found a bagel shop’s location based on a video. The skill has made him TikTok famous.

He found a bagel shop’s location based on a video. The skill has made him TikTok famous.

A TikToker is being praised for uncovering the address of a Manhattan bagel shop that serves a bagel described by a different online user as the “greatest sandwich I’ve ever had.”

Trevor Rainbolt has become famous on social media for his ability to pinpoint precise locations of where images were taken, even if the images are obscure or show very few clues.

He went viral Thursday after sharing a video on Twitter in which he identified the location of a bagel that a fellow internet user had shown off in a video without sharing where it was from.

Rainbolt identified not only the address of the shop (New York City’s Bagel Market) but also the type of sandwich and where the original poster was seated in the video.

“168 william st, nyc. you can order it by asking for ‘the rainbolt,'” Rainbolt wrote in the tweet.

When another Twitter user asked why Rainbolt told his users to ask for the sandwich by using his name, he replied, “because i got the bagel shop to name the bagel after me. so if he ever wants his bagel again he will have to order in shame.”

Rainbolt’s initial tweet has been viewed more than 10.7 million times on Twitter. On TikTok, where Rainbolt has more than 2.4 million followers, the video has been viewed more than 5 million times.

Rainbolt did not immediately return a request for comment.

In a message sent to NBC News on Instagram, Bagel Market owner Jimmy Stathakis confirmed the store has named the sandwich — egg, cheese and avocado on a bagel — after the TikToker and said the location has already seen an influx of people ordering the “Rainbolt” by name.

“It has been a fun few hours from the initial ask if that’s our bagel….to recognizing the blue bag in the back….to the posts going viral,” Stathakis wrote.

Before he posted his video sharing the bagel shop’s location, Rainbolt divulged how much effort he had put into the search.

“i’m going to be vulnerable: i’ve spent 38 hours this week (42 hours last week) looking for a bagel on google maps. the bagel is in nyc. i have all possible bagels narrowed down. i will find this bagel. and i will not give up,” he tweeted Saturday.

After he announced that he had found the bagel’s origin, he offered a warning to his followers. He urged others online to not “gatekeep,” which refers to the act of withholding something to keep it from becoming mainstream.

“let this be a lesson to all. do not gatekeep food. i will find it. and i will make sure you eating it is 100x harder than you ever would want,” he tweeted.

Twitter users were mesmerized by Rainbolt’s skill.

“No matter what you say, no matter what you do, the Rainbolt will always find you,” one person tweeted.

Another person wrote: “TV pitch: Geoguesser guy, P. I.”

Rainbolt’s triumphant bagel search is far from his first viral moment. On TikTok and YouTube, he has accumulated millions of views for being able to accurately locate where an image or video was taken no matter how vague.

Rainbolt began by using GeoGuessr, a kind of geography quizzing tool powered by Google Maps that shows an image and has the player guess the location. Eventually, Rainbolt graduated to user videos, requests and challenges from other users.

Although his skill sometimes looks like a superpower, Rainbolt told The Washington Post last year that he’s developed his ability to identify an image’s origin thanks to time, practice and intuition.

“Once you see the countries and their soil colors … it’s just human intuition,” Rainbolt told the Post. “Can I describe to you why I think that it looked like it was Nigerian soil? Probably not, but it does. It’s just part of that sixth sense you pick up on when you play the game so much.”

He’s not alone. On TikTok, a thriving, yet niche, community of social media sleuths has grown, where users find not only locations but also specific sports games and video games shown in the background in movies and television shows.

Some show off how quickly they can find a location while others try to get as close to the original location as possible — sometimes even down to the seat at a restaurant or the parking space of a car.

This has also led to parodies becoming popular on the platform. In one video, user Grant Wisler jokes that he can locate where a photo was taken in “only one second.”

“It’s really, really cool to see more mainstream people get behind it,” Rainbolt told the Post. “I’ve been doing the same thing I’ve been doing for the past year in front of 10 people on Twitch. … To see it finally get recognition from people is insane. Honestly, it’s so cool.”

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