Who invented ‘spam email’? Monty Python, unwittingly.

In 1937, Hormel introduced the world to Spam, a canned meat that gained huge global popularity. Spam basically became an A-list celebrity of the food world. Some 30-something years later, Monty Python turned the spongy canned meat into an unwitting hit song during a sketch that aired in 1970.

Then, in 1978, the first unsolicited email was sent to 400 addresses on ARPANET, a predecessor to the modern internet we know and love tolerate. While this early attempt to annoy someone through an unwanted exchange on a computer was not originally called “spam,” the term eventually became synonymous with the practice.

Watch the full video to find out why some internet historians think Monty Python is to thank/blame for why we call unsolicited emails spam.

This video is part of an ongoing Mashable Explains (Animated) series, delving into the weird history of everything from the first EV to sardines. Yes, sardines.

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