A text/file upload system.
bitfossil.org/ an indexer website which interprets the format. Each page has an "abuse report" button to unindex presumably. TODO website source? Local indexer/extraction script? Ciro's indexer and its generated index can be found at:
Each AtomSea payload has a toplevel transaction which links to other transactions. All the linked transactions together make up the payload. The most common payload type is a text plus image, as is the case of Nelson-Mandela.jpg, which can be seen at bitfossil.com/78f0e6de0ce007f4dd4a09085e649d7e354f70bc7da06d697b167f353f115b8e/ where 78f0e6de0ce007f4dd4a09085e649d7e354f70bc7da06d697b167f353f115b8e is the toplevel transaction ID: www.blockchain.com/btc/tx/78f0e6de0ce007f4dd4a09085e649d7e354f70bc7da06d697b167f353f115b8e
See Section "Nelson-Mandela.jpg (2013-12-07)" for a detailed reverse engineering of the format, and Section "AtomSea & EMBII data format" for a summary of it.
apertus.io/ is the system to upload/index locally, and therefore likely part of the backend of bitfossil: github.com/HugPuddle/Apertus
The system shows the messages and the images on a single page: bitfossil.org/4cbb32cd27b5b5edc12d3559bdffc1355ac2a210463d5cfaadc7ce9b06675b2b/index.htm It is basically a blockchain-based Twitter.
Hidden surprises in the Bitcoin blockchain by Ken Shirriff (2014) suggests that AtomSea & EMBII are the creator's aliases. The following online profiles of the creators feel authentic:Tried saying hi to them at: twitter.com/cirosantilli/status/1382080760774033415 and they replied: twitter.com/AllenVandever/status/1563964396656812034
Somewhat related projects:
At twitter.com/EMBII4U/status/1762501350997233976 (2024) EMBII mentions that he was inspired by the Satoshi uploader.
These are of course likely all made by AtomSea & EMBII themselves while developing/testing their upload system.
They are also artsy peoeple themselves, and as pointed at twitter.com/AllenVandever/status/1563964396656812034 what they were doing was basicaly non-fungible token art, which became much much more popular a few years later around 2021.
The first upload that we could find at github.com/cirosantilli/bitcoin-inscription-indexer/tree/3f53e152ec9bb0d070dbcb8f9249d92f89effa70#atomsea-index was tx 44e80475dc363de2c7ee17b286f8cd49eb146165a79968a62c1c2c4cf80772c9 on block 272573 (2013-12-01) but it does not show on Bitfossil: bitfossil.org/44e80475dc363de2c7ee17b286f8cd49eb146165a79968a62c1c2c4cf80772c9/. This is was due to an upload bug explained by the following entry. By looking at the ASCII data at github.com/cirosantilli/bitcoin-inscription-indexer/blob/master/data/out/0272.txt#L449 that this is meant to contain the same content as the following message: a quote from the Bhagavad Gita, so this is definitely a bugged version of the following one.
The next one is bitfossil.org/c9d1363ea517cd463950f83168ce8242ef917d99cd6518995bd1af927d335828/ on block 272577 (2013-12-02). It actually shows on bifossil and it reads:
followed by:
He who regards
With an eye that is equal
Friends and comrades,
The foe and the kinsman,
The vile, the wicked,
The men who judge him,
And those who belong
To neither faction:
He is the greatest.
The bug message is definitely a reference to the previous non-visible bugged upload bitfossil.org/4b72a223007eab8a951d43edc171befeabc7b5dca4213770c88e09ba5b936e17/, TODO understand exactly how they fucked up. This illustrates the beauty of the blockchain very well: unlike with version control, you don't just see selected snapshots: you see actual debug logs!!!
Figure 1.
. Source.
The third AtomSea & EMBII upload, and the first actual image.
Photo etchin' test. #AtomSea #embii (photo by Travis Ehrich)
The image shows showingAtomSea and EMBII together, presumably photographed by this dude.
The filename is of course a reference to the quote/idea: We Are Made of Star-Stuff that was much popularized by Carl Sagan.
bitfossil.org/fac0b9a4f90414710b806fd286e020aea2404498946845ef3783f305dd4cd3a7 (2024-01-13) contains a crapped version with only AtomSea persent.
Figure 2.
. Source.
The fourth AtomSea & EMBII upload, and the second image. Message:
HugPuddle Testing Apertus Disk Drive
And then finally we meet Chiharu, EMBII's partner, with her hair painted blond (she's Japanese): ILoveYouMore.jpg.
Then there's an approximation of pi as ASCII decimal fraction bitfossil.org/70fd289901bae0409f27237506c330588d917716944c6359a8711b0ad6b4ce76/ from block 273522 (2013-12-07):
tx b8b9f50a354166c46b69ecd47a0fbd20ee78c3471d2557bf275aff1b4cf4752d (2013-12-07) contains Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. TODO find on bitfossil.org, toplevel, tx seemed like a likely toplevel, but not working: bitfossil.org/b8b9f50a354166c46b69ecd47a0fbd20ee78c3471d2557bf275aff1b4cf4752d
There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.
Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow
, And watch where the chalk-white arrowls go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.
Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.
tx 56768b30dec33bd284223d85c23087975e2360b3391d20d505aa59a5675e5379 (2013-12-13) TODO find on bitfossil.org has the cutest message:
Dear Aliens,
Sincerely, EMBII & AtomSeaMBII
bitfossil.org/73ca50321147bac9010bec43d63f7f76857fe9ede240cc89710e28723fdb242f/ (2013-12-14) has message:
and links to 3 .txt files 1.txt, 2.txt, 3.txt containing single characters 1, 2, and 3.
Figure 3.
. Source.
2013-12-20. Message:
Colby Nelson and myself burnt the midnight oils designing the APERTUS imagery last night....
Thanks Colby for all your help.
Possibly www.linkedin.com/in/colby-nelson-59b538207/.
Contains an Apertus logo which is used on bitfossil.org/ itself, presumably they were designing that logo.
This is the first of many love declarations and mentions EMBII makes of his partner Chiharu! This came just one day afte the very first uploads of the system.
Figure 1.
. Source.
My Dearest Chiharu....I Love you more. <3 Eric
Note that she's Japanese and not really bond, it's hair dye.
Figure 2.
. Source.
My Dearest Chiharu, I will love you forever. Taken Aug 6th 2014 in Ipswich, SD.
Figure 3.
. Source.
Associated messages:
A #father could not ask for more perfect daughters. I #Love you both so much!! <3 Pa
My oldest daugher moves into the dorms tomorrow morning. Dear Mady, You are forever my baby. <3 Pa
EMBII's daughter, Maddy Bobby, (presumably not with Chiharu) is going off to college! Sadface.
Figure 4.
Chiharu EMBII and The Atom Sea say Happy Halloween.jpg
. Source.
#Chiharu #embii & the #AtomSea #Fargo #ND
so their location was: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fargo,_North_Dakota
Figure 5.
. Source.
mini camera test #Wilson #Chiharu #embii #Broadway #Fargo #ND
"Trip to Italy" Mini Digital Camera N. Broadway, Fargo, ND 49°F
TODO actual Italy? Or some place named Italy in the US?
Figure 6.
. Source.
Photographer unknown, but presumably EMBII's father or another close family member.
In loving memory of Loraine Elizabeth White
EMBII's mum died :-(
Cost: ~0.001 BTC ~ $0.80 at the time.
Figure 7.
. Source.
This one gives Chiharu's full identity with picture basically. Message:
The Sato Family Arrives from Japan! Taken Aug 2. 2014 in Minneapolis MN. (Keiko, Chiharu, Hideaki, Katsuhiko) Now preparing for the Sato / Bobby Great American Vacation!!
so presumably Chiharu's full name is Chiharu Sato.
More EMBII social media:
Figure 1.
. Source. Message:
"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered." - Nelson Mandela Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. - Wikipedia Born: July 18, 1918, Mvezo, South Africa Died: December 5, 2013.
The toplevel transaction is 78f0e6de0ce007f4dd4a09085e649d7e354f70bc7da06d697b167f353f115b8e
Like all AtomSea & EMBII uploads, the data it is encoded as P2FKH.
The full concatenated payload contains the following ASCII characters:
tomSea & EMBII
Output 2 is a change, so it contains no data and has been excluded. Change appear to be randomly placed in the list of output of the uploads, but they can be easily removed because they are the only output with a different value.
The newlines shown above are explicitly encoded as CR LF newlines with characters 0d 0a.
396 is the number of payload bytes between 396*8881a937a437ff6ce83be3a89d77ea88ee12315f37f7ef0dd3742c30eef92dba and the last txid 39348722b841afa0c5b67e5af10839afe965ed1b24874e89336bea9fa4ef3091, including newlines but exclusding the last line.
The last line appears to contain arbitrary data to fill out the 20 byte payload granularity:
  • A is missing from AtomSea
  • there is a NUL character just after EMBII, possibly part of the protocol?
Now let's inspect the transactions linked to from toplevel.
tx 8881a937a437ff6ce83be3a89d77ea88ee12315f37f7ef0dd3742c30eef92dba contains only payloads without any change. It starts with the following UTF-8 string with CR LF spaces;
"396\“There is nothing like returning to a place
 that remains unchanged to find the ways in 
 which you yourself have altered.”
 -Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Afrd۽^2c'︨`ica from 1994 to 1999. -Wikipedia

Born: July 18, 1918, Mvezo, South Africa
Died: December 5, 2013
396 is once again the number of payload bytes present in that string.
This is immediately followed without any separator by a filename, and another size marker:
then followed by all the 14400 - len(Nelson-Mandela.jpg?) + len(/) JPEG bytes bytes, starting with the two JPEG file signature byte "FF D8".
Further toplevel transaction payloads are then simply concatenated with the previous ones, until the last bytes of the image "FF D9" appears at the end of the payload.
00000430  d2 81 de 80 0c 52 f1 40  ea 29 68 03 ff d9 6f 6d  |.....R.@.)h...om|
00000440  53 65 61 20 26 20 45 4d  42 49 49 00              |Sea & EMBII.|
padded once again by an AtomSea & EMBII string fragment terminated by a NUL character.
tx e3e37ed5c1de2631c147bd39429e42ff634e95b7d72423bc32d6c6b9d8eef8ee (2014-07-01):
For my first official Journal entry I've decided to archive some old poetry. Here are a few of the computational poems I've created using cyphers.
Figure 1.
. Source.
"Even if we tried to do it on purpose, never would have we succeeded." My beloved Vincent.
TODO identify Shiemaa and Vincent.
Figure 2.
. Source. Bike Lady by Allen Lee Vandever. tx 2c4b9497af8c0c0eb9383357b40c3de33dba0b4f481099a32719f2b9036da8e7, block 319927 (2014-09-10)
Figure 3.
. Source.
An "artificially" colored visualization of the Arecibo message ripped from Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Arecibo_message.svg (with attribution).
The cool thing about this image is that it highlights the striking parallels between the encoding of the Arecibo message with crypto graffiti, because in both cases people were creating undocumented new ways of communicating with strangers on a new medium in those early blockchain days.
The associated message contains the Arecibo message as ASCII 0's and 1's. When properly cut at the newlines, they draw the message as ASCII art, as the original Arecibo encoding intends, here's a version with the 0's replaced by spaces to make it more readabale:
      1 1 1 1
  1 1     1 1       1
1   1   1   1  1 11  1
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1  1  1

          11 1
          11 1
          1 1 1

11    111   11    11
1             11  1
11 1   11   11    11 1
11111 11111 11111 11111

    1                 1

    1                 1
11111             11111

11    11    111   11
1       1         1
11 1    11   111  11 1
11111 11111 11111 11111

    1      11         1
    1     11          1
11111     11      11111
  1        1        1
    1      11       1
    11    11      1
      11   1    11
          11  11
      11   1    11
    11    11      1
    1      1        1
  1       11        1
  1        11        1
  1         1       1
  1       1       1
    1            11
    11        11
  1   111 1 11
  1       1
  1     11111
  1    1 111 1  1 11 11
      1  111  1  111111
1 111    111     11 111
          1 1     111 11
  1      1 1     111111
  1      1 1     11
  1     11 11

  111     1
  111 1 1   1 1 1 1 1 1
  111         1 1 1 1
              1 1
    111       111
    11           11
  11 1         1 11
  11  11       11  11
  1   1 1     1 1   1
  1   1  1   1  1   1
      1   1 1   1
      1    1    1
      1         1
        1  1 1
  1111  11111 1  1111
Figure 4.
He sleeps in a temple.jpg
. TODO identify. Novel work by EMBII? TODO we need a geocacher to find it, some city in North America no doubt. tx 460ed23bea89176cdfe18e13fce51ad5386ad8e3e1f7d6f5b4711b3be97b0502, block 360565 (2015-06-12)
Figure 5.
. Source.
Associated message:
NASA: A purple nebula, in honor of #Prince, who passed away today. Image: Crab #Nebula, as Seen by Herschel and #Hubble Image credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS/MESS Key Programme Supernova Remnant Team; #NASA, ESA and Allison Loll/Jeff Hester (Arizona State University) #PIA17563
Figure 6.
. Source.
The image is present e.g. at: www.kitguru.net/channel/jon-martindale/australian-man-claims-he-is-satoshi-nakamoto-bitcoin-creator/ It was inscribed about two months after Craig publicly claimed that he is Satoshi.
This is a relatively unusual AtomSea & EMBII upload as it does not have the common toplevel transaction, everything, text + image fits into a single transaction. This is perhaps why the image is relatively low resolution to have a smaller size.
Figure 7.
. Source.
Yellow Robot on block 450516 (2017-01-29)
Photography by EMBII, original art by TODO.
The associated message reads:
Chiharu and I found this little yellow robot while exploring Chicago. It will be covered by tar or eventually removed but this tribute will remain. N 41.880778 E -87.629210
This is one of Ciro's favorite AtomSea & EMBII uploads. This is the cutest thing ever, and perfectly encapsules the "medium as an artform" approach to blockchain art. More Chiharu stalking at: ILoveYouMore.jpg.
At twitter.com/EMBII4U/status/1615389973343268871 EMBII announced that he would be giving off shares of that image on a Bitcoin-based NFT sale system he's making called Sup!?, and in December 2023 gave some shares to Ciro Santilli. Amen.
Other possibly novel EMBII street photography:
For a detailed analysis of one transaction see: Nelson-Mandela.jpg.
Best guess so far, all in ASCII hex of output scripts:
  • remove the single output value different from first one from payload, that's the change, and it is randomly placed as far as I see
  • 64 bytes: hex address of top level text
  • 1 byte: some random punctuation
  • decimal number of bytes of some payload
  • 1 byte: some random punctuation
  • 64 bytes: same as the first address
  • CR LF
  • ends in NUL

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