How three friends unearthed Larva Labs $25,000 Meebit NFT
Larva Labs had placed the hint of its NFT treasure hunt on the Meebits pigs wearing jerseys
After almost a year, three people have finally cracked the Larva Labs secret treasure hunt.
Andrew Badr, a Twitter user, named Apely.eth, and an anonymous third person all worked together to decode the puzzle, revealing private keys to a pig Meebits worth 10 ETH. The private keys were enshrined inside a digital artwork.
Badr narrated the experience on Twitter. According to him, it started when Proof, an artist collective, did an NFT drop of 20 artworks by 20 anonymous artists. One of the pieces in the drop, the Grail #11, turned out to have been made by Larva Labs.
This is the story of how @larvalabs, the creators Cryptopunks, hid a secret NFT prize almost a year ago—and how a couple friends and I recently solved the puzzle to claim it.
— Andrew Badr (@andrewbadr) March 14, 2022
Grail #11 was a mathematically generated art that soon became the most valuable in the collection. On March 5, a Proof Discord user called “iceman” noticed the unusual pattern at the top of Grail #11 and called attention to it.
Badr saw this message and realized that iceman might be up to something. So he wrote a code turning the Ls on the art into binary codes of 0s and 1s.
Meebits pig had the hint
He then used American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII), which interprets the binary codes into 128 English characters and got this hidden message, “SECRET IS IN THE PIG NUMBERS, LL.”
After some investigations, he was able to identify that this message referred to the Meebits pig. So, Badr recruited his friends, one of whom was Apely.eth, to help with the hunt.
The three of them identified the pigs wearing jerseys and collected all the numbers on the jersey. Then they used various means such as ASCII, mod 2, Caesar Cyphers, and base 32 to interpret the jersey numbers.
After days of trying to see if the jersey numbers mean something, they discovered if they arranged the Meebits based on the jersey number. They ended up with a 64 digit string, which was an Ethereum private key. The private key led to a wallet containing Meebit #2858 and 0.025 ETH.
Apely also corroborated Badr’s revelation while also hinting that he would be looking forward to finding more puzzles in future NFTs of Larva Labs.
Recently, Larva Labs sold the rights of CryptoPunks and Meebits NFT collection to its rival in the industry, the creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club, Yuga Labs.