NOW YOU KNOW

The Wikipedia pages we look up most, globally

Happy birthday, Wikipedia.
Happy birthday, Wikipedia.
Image: AP Photo/Eric Risberg
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Who was mad at whom at the start of World War II? Or right now in Westeros, for that matter?

Questions about TV, news, or history would once require dusty Britannica volumes. Now, we have Wikipedia. The world’s 7th most-used site turns 15 years old today, but even for those who remember the days of print encyclopedias, it’s hard to imagine life without it. (Particularly when you can’t recall what happened in The Phantom Menace.)

Data published by Wikipedia shows that across the world, the crowd-sourced encyclopedia has become an important resource for both history and entertainment. Indeed, the two topics are often intertwined.

For example, last year in Korean, Princess Jeongmyeong was a top page on the site. Not coincidentally, the 17th-century princess is the subject of historical drama Hwajeong (Splendid Politics), which premiered in April. In Turkish, the page for the Ottoman female sultan Kösem also ranked high in 2015. This is consistent with the premiere last year of Muhteşem Yüzyıl: Kösem, sequel to the popular show Muhteşem Yüzyıl (The Magnificent Century). Views of the page on Chinese empress Wu Zetian were high as well—matching the first season of The Empress of China, which began in December of 2014.

But television did not have to mirror history to be a popular search. Elsewhere, in German, The Big Bang Theory ranked high, and Game of Thrones ranked among the top 10 most searched pages in English, French, German, and Russian. The Walking Dead was also popular in French and German.

Other popular sites from last year include country pages, especially the United States, major historical events, especially World War II, and company pages, especially the article on Facebook.

There are a total of 280 languages represented on Wikipedia. Here are 2015’s top 10 pages, grouped according to 11 of the site’s most popular languages.

English

German

Chinese

Spanish

Russian

French

Portuguese

Japanese

Turkish

Arabic

Korean